Harold Zahrndt

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Asleep in Jesus, Harold F Zahrndt (age 98), passed away on April 14, 2023, at his daughter’s home in O’Fallon, MO, where he had lived for the past three years.  He was formerly a Belleville resident for 60 years.

Harold was born on July 14, 1924, in East St Louis, IL to Frederick and Blanche (Castleberry) Zahrndt, the youngest of 5 children. He was baptized on August 24, 1924, and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in East St Louis, IL. He graduated from Collinsville High School in 1942.

Harold was a proud World War II Air Force veteran, serving as an Administrative Specialist in Scotland, where he met his future wife, Eva M. Beckett. Later, they were both transferred to Paris, France where they married in 1946. Eva preceded Harold in death on January 16, 2013, after 66 years of married life. Their union was blessed with two children, Barbara Garvey of O’Fallon MO, and Richard Zahrndt (who recently passed away on March 15, 2023, at the age of 75).

Harold began his professional career as a plasterer with Huntley Blazier Company (East St Louis) in 1946.  In 1958, he moved his family to San Juan, Puerto Rico to work as a concrete supervisor with Huntley Corporation. Harold was active during the construction boom in Puerto Rico while it grew as a resort destination, and the family experiences there are told to this day. In 1960, Harold returned to Belleville, IL as a construction superintendent with Belleville Concrete, where he worked until his retirement in 1988.

Never idle, Harold returned to school following his retirement at age 62 to learn small engine repair.  Later, he worked on hundreds of lawnmowers around the Belleville area!

Harold lived a life of strong and devoted faith, and was very active at Zion Lutheran Church in Belleville. Throughout the decades, he served in a variety of roles, including Sunday school superintendent, deacon, usher, several building committees, and was part of the finance committee for many years. Until recently, Harold could be found with the “counting team” on Monday mornings at church, along with being active in the senior’s ministry. Additionally, Harold loved the music ministry at Zion, and was a part of the handbell choir for many years.

Harold was a joyful, energetic person. He was a skilled organ player, and filled his home with music, songs, and hymns. For several years, Harold played a weekly organ concert at Belleville Nursing and Rehab, where his wife Eva was a resident in her final years.

Harold enjoyed being outside, gardening/plants, yard work, and barbequing; and was always tinkering with one home improvement project or another. He was an avid traveler, visiting all but 3 states in his lifetime. He was both a train and Ford Motor enthusiast, and for many years enjoyed a new car as often as possible!  Harold always looked forward to his birthday and other celebrations. He could often be seen snapping pictures and filled album upon album with memories. In recent years, Harold could often be found reading, working puzzles, watching Gunsmoke, and spending much time with his family, especially enjoying being an active part of the lives of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Harold was a caring friend, and made an impact on many lives. His family was his pride and joy, and he often spoke of his faith and many blessings. Harold had a contagious enthusiasm for life, and will be missed by his loving family and all who knew him.

In addition to his beloved wife Eva Zahrndt (nee Beckett) and parents, Harold was preceded in death by his son, Richard Zahrndt (March 2023); a grandson, David Zahrndt (2021); and four siblings, Edward Zahrndt (Nellie), Norma Hanser (Milton), Emma Sadulski (Frank), and Stella Ruth Zahrndt (deceased as a young child).

Harold is survived by his daughter, Barbara Garvey of O’Fallon, MO; daughter in law, Dianne Zahrndt of Hodgenville, KY; grandchildren Michael (Suzanne) Zahrndt, Jason (Robin) Zahrndt, Susan Zorumski, and Scott (Ellen) Zorumski; granddaughter in law Cristi Watts; great-grandchildren, Lauren (Brock), John, Cooper; Jacob, Jordan, Jonas; Julie, Drew; Kei, and Amelia; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to Zion Lutheran Church Music Ministry or Zion Lutheran Church Mortgage/Building fund-1810 McClintock Ave., Belleville, IL  62221. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, April 24, 2023, at Zion Lutheran Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 24, 2023, at Zion Lutheran Church, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Christopher Spelbring officiating.

Burial will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.


6 Comments on Harold Zahrndt

James Zahrndt said : Guest Report May 08, 2023 at 10:10 PM

My sincere condolences on your loss. Harold was one of my first verified cotacts in my genealogy research, being a descendent of Ernest Zahrndt Sr. He provided me with his grave location and a picture. I am so sorry for his passing and I couldn't be there to pay my respects for our conversations, his openness and exchange information on the family. My prayers are with you at this time.

  • Ipava
  • Illinois
Walter and Linda Hangsleben said : Guest Report Apr 27, 2023 at 8:39 PM

Harold was a wonderful neighbor to us for over 40 years. He was a great person and very enjoyable to be around. He loved working on his yard and repairing lawn mowers. He was always helping everyone in the neighborhood. Rest in peace Mr. Zahrndt.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Marge Weis said : Guest Report Apr 23, 2023 at 8:03 PM

Harold will be missed. He was an active Christian and a good friend.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Leonelda Siade said : Guest Report Apr 19, 2023 at 8:59 AM

Mr. Zahrndt led a remarkable life. He was a kind man, a true gentleman, and a good friend to my dad, Ray Obermeier. Please accept our sympathy and also on behalf of my dad.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Toni Obermeier Spilotro said : Guest Report Apr 18, 2023 at 6:39 PM

On behalf of the Obermeier Family from Eastland Drive in Belleville, we express our deep sympathies to the family. Harold was a dear friend, neighbor and deeply appreciated lawnmower repairman to my father. A few years ago shortly after my father passed away, Harold welcomed my sister and I into his home to play his organ for us. It was the holidays and he proudly played Christmas carols while we sang along. It was healing to us to spend time with one of our dad's best friends and talk about fond memories. Harold and Eve were special neighbors to our family for decades and we have many fond choldhood memories of them. Rest in Peace sir. I know there were many loving arms waiting for you in Heaven.

  • Tampa
  • FL
Rita Billhartz said : Guest Report Apr 17, 2023 at 6:51 PM

On behalf of the entire Billhartz family, we want to send our deepest sympathy to you, Barb and your family. We were also sorry to hear of Richard's passing. Harold was a true neighbor who was always willing to help with whatever repair was needed, especially fixing lawnmowers and bikes for the kids. WE WILL MISS HIM!!

  • Belleville
  • Illinois

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