Albert "Al" Carl Zadroga Jr., 78, of Avon Lake, OH, passed away in his sleep after losing his battle with Alzheimer's Disease on Sunday, September 18, 2022. In the days leading up to his death, he was surrounded by music and the love of his family as well as many kind caretakers (a.k.a. angels) at Arden Courts Memory Care and Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care.
Al was born on November 22, 1943 to Emma (Ullrich) and Albert Zadroga of Elizabeth, PA. He attended Elizabeth Forward High School (Class of 1961) where he fell in love with Barbara (Thompson). After receiving a degree in Chemistry from Westminster College in 1965, he launched a 39-year career as a paint chemist with PPG Industries in Springdale, PA. One year into his career, he and Barbara were married. Daughters Allison and Amanda were welcomed and soon an opportunity with PPG took the family to Stone Mountain, GA for a few years before returning north to where they resided in Allison Park, PA. One final career move had the couple settling in Avon Lake, Ohio, and Al took on the complicated processes of automotive finishes. If anyone ever had a question about the kind of paint/finish to use for a project, Al would provide an answer...along with the science to back it up.
Al knew the importance of work-life balance before it was a buzzword. He made time to enjoy golf outings/leagues, early morning racquetball leagues, family vacations, neighborhood events, visits to the family "cottage" on the Allegheny River, boating on Lake Erie and serving as Treasurer of the Beaver Park Yacht Club, helping neighbors, volunteering at Avon Lake Presbyterian Church, and all kinds of DIY projects around the house. He never stopped cheering for his daughters, his grandchildren, or the Steelers. He had a competitive nature and often surprised others with his exquisite hand-eye coordination when playing ping pong, cornhole, horseshoes, and pool. He learned to play the piano as a child and would often sit down to play when he was thinking through something. After his Alzheimer's diagnosis, music absolutely delighted him and he could usually be found near a source of music, playing his harmonica or drumming to the beat.
He was preceded in death by his parents Emma (Ullrich) and Albert Zadroga of Elizabeth, PA. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 56 years, Barbara (Thompson) as well as his daughters Allison (Craig Bitter) and Amanda (Raymond Brown), and his five grandchildren Zoe, Kelsey, Zane, Cameron, and Colin. Family was the most important thing to Al and he relished his roles as son, husband, father, grandfather ("Daddy Pop"), cousin, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend to all.
In appreciation of Al's love of science and in the interest of fast-forwarding advances in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease, his amazing brain has been donated to the Lieber Institute for Brain Development.
A memorial service will be held at Avon Lake Presbyterian Church (Avon Lake, OH) on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 1:00pm. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Al's memory to the Alzheimer's Association https://act.alz.org/
Rest in peace, Al. We loved you.