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Clyde L. "Ike" Zembower, 92, of Bedford, PA, passed away on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at UPMC Altoona.
He was born February 23, 1931, in lower Bedford Valley, a son of Walter and Cozy (Growden) Zembower. He is survived by Norma J. Shaffer-Morris, his wife of 42 years whom he married on September 4, 1981.
He is also survived by son Zachary and wife Dotti (Fought) of Boalsburg, daughter Leah Rouzer and husband Bobby of Bedford, son Mark of Venice, FL, son Eric and wife Jodie (Kagarise) of Bedford, stepson Tim Morris and wife Jayne (Sarver) of Bedford. Sister Nona (Nin) Sears of Cumberland, MD, grandchildren Ryan Rouzer, Christopher Zembower and wife Elizabeth, Abbey Milazzo and husband Matt, Sean Zembower, Jacob Zembower and wife Dr. Katie, Mitchell Zembower, and Ely Morris and wife Kristi and great grandchildren, Harvey and Agatha Zembower, Willa and Jack Milazzo. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Bea and Joyce, first wife Donna (Ingram) Diveglia, and stepson Dan Morris.
As a young child in Bedford Valley, he became interested in building construction, architecture, automobiles, and airplanes and carried these interests throughout his entire life.
Ike graduated from Bedford High School in 1949 and was self-taught in the building trades as well as mechanical and architectural engineering. His professional career started with building homes with his father and uncle in the mid 1940s. This led to work in the Bedford trucking industry in the early 1950s, Superintendent of Signs for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission from 1958 thru 1964, Maintenance and Transportation director at the Bedford Area School District from 1975 thru 1986. Throughout this time period he designed and built over 100 custom ranch style homes throughout the region.
Ike was the first president of the Cumberland Valley Township Rec Council in
1973 and oversaw the first Labor Day picnic. He served on the Bedford Area School District board in the 1960s and taught bus driving certifications for IU8. He was also an artist, sculptor, sign painter, brick/stone mason, and custom woodworker. He loved music including the classics, standards, gospel, and country western. He sang in the church choirs at the Centerville United Methodist Church and Calvary Baptist Church and served on both church boards in various capacities.
He closely followed his children's and grandchildren's music, wrestling, football, and auto racing careers and very much influenced their professional paths in life. He built his children's homes and directed them with anything mechanical.
Ike followed Penn State football and wrestling along with the Steelers, Pirates, local and national auto racing. The first auto race of hundreds he attended was at the Great Bedford Fair in 1938 with his father. He had fond memories of hunting on Wills and Evitts mountains in Cumberland Valley Township. He enjoyed landscaping and tree planting.
He and Norma transformed the Shaffer family farm in Briar Valley, Bedford Township, into the development they named Shangri Lane. They truly enjoyed their time traveling the US in their camper, cross country twice, and Canada. They cherished their family life, church life and their beloved cats. He was a lifelong Democrat and followed politics until his last days.
He felt very fortunate to have lived in Bedford County and to have a full life with Norma, his and her children and their families.
Family and friends will be received at the Louis Geisel Funeral Home in Bedford, on Sunday, November 19, 2023, from 4-6 PM and on Monday November 20, 2023, from 10-11 AM.
A funeral Service will be held on Monday November 20, 2023, at 11:00 AM with Adam Kravits officiating.
Interment will be held at Fellowship Cemetery in Centerville.
The family would like to thank Dr. Baer, the ER department at UPMC Bedford, and the nursing staff at UPMC Altoona, especially Emily.