Stephentown, NY – Frank Zwack, of Stephentown, New York, passed away on May 16, 2019.
Born in the village of Burkhardsreith in the Bavarian Woods, Germany, he was the second eldest son of Joseph and Barbara Zwack, now deceased. He married Maria Mayer-Mohos, and during their 68 year marriage raised two sons, Henry F. Zwack (Laura) and Frank J. Zwack (Debra). He is also survived by five grandchildren, Bridget M. Roberts (Brian), F. Joseph Zwack (Amanda), Mark J. Zwack, Michael F. Zwack, and John H. Zwack (Joella), and four great-granchildren, Joseph M. Zwack, Malerie Zinc, Natalie M. Roberts and Benjamin H. Zwack. He is also survived by his sisters Annie and Louise, of Germany. His sisters, Mary, Gretel, Erica, and brothers, Joseph and Rudolph are predeceased. He is also survived by his brother in law, Frank Mohos (Patricia), and sisters in law Elza Anderson, Ida Weise, Julianne Mayer, and the many nieces and nephews he especially loved. His special moment was when a niece, nephew, grandchild or greatgrandchild would jump in his lap on Christmas Eve – always remembering to leave room for one more.
Growing up in Bavaria, in a small village located on the Czech border, Franz was first apprenticed as a tailor to his Uncle Konrad and then completed his studies in engineering and machine building. He served several years as a special police officer in the American Constabulary under the command of Major General Ernest N. Harmon (US Army) in Karlsruhe Germany, where he met his wife Maria – they married, Maria traveled first to the U.S., with Franz shortly following, residing in the Bronx and then moving to Stephentown. He worked at Long Island City Ironworks (was often fond of telling if you walk the stairs of the Empire State Building you would see his initials on the stair treads he replaced), then at McKinney Steel in Troy, and then at Avery Tractor and Samson Tractor in New Lebanon. In 1968 he purchased Samson Tractor (Samson Hydraulics), manufacturing construction equipment, sold his interests in 1970, and then began Zwack, Inc. in 1971. The years following, he and his wife and sons grew Zwack, Inc. into a manufacturing business providing specialty equipment and machines for a number of international companies including General Electric, Phillips, Albany International, and Crane Paper — with products shipped to throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Zwack, Inc. is also the manufacturer of municipal highway equipment, and is today managed by his son Frank, employing his grandchildren and his many long termed employees –- who he always regarded as members of his extended family.
Shortly after moving to Stephentown in 1957, Frank joined the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department, was a 61 year life-member, past Director, and was also the longest serving Commissioner and Chairman of the Stephentown Fire District, retiring in 2017. He took special pride in guiding the Fire District in the 1978 construction of the new fire station, and the following acquisition of new fire apparatus and ambulance –- particularly when it was done without bonding or raising the fire tax. A more than 60 year parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church in Stephentown, since moving from the Bronx, Frank served on the parish council and finance committee –- helping raise the funds for a new roof, furnace replacements, and steeple repairs –- and was also a director of St. Joseph Cemetery. Frank was especially proud of becoming a US Citizen in 1959, and was particularly interested in supporting our veterans and the hiring of members of the National Guard. He also remembered with fondness his childhood in Bavaria and was a member of the German and Hungarian clubs in Berkshire County, Troy, and Albany.
The family will always remember the acts of kindness of the Doctors and staff at Berkshire Medical Center, especially Sean in the ER and Doctors Lazarus and Makdisi, and also the services of Rensselaer County Community Hospice who provided Frank with support and strength during his continuing journey.
A visitation was be held on Monday, May 20, 2019 at Hall and Higgins Funeral Home, 457 NY Route 43, Stephentown, NY. A funeral mass will was celebrated Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 10 AM at St. Joseph’s Church, Stephentown. Interment followed in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Stephentown. Those who wish to remember Frank in a special way may consider a donation to St. Joseph’s Church/Immaculate Conception, 732 US 20 PO Box 218, New Lebanon, NY 12125, or to the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Dept., PO Box 208, Stephentown, NY 12168. Condolence book at parkerbrosmemorial.com.