Richard W. Zarski, 60, a long-time employee at Evanston's Crown Recreation Center, died at Evanston Hospital on Sunday, March 12.
Zarski's death was confirmed by his sister Amelia, who says he overcame the challenges of Down Syndrome to lead a full, productive life surrounded by his family and many friends in the Evanston community.
After his family moved to Evanston 53 years ago, Zarski attained the rank of Eagle Scout as a member of Boy Scout Troop 17 for developmentally disabled boys attending Park School in Evanston.
After graduating from Park School, he became a city employee working at the Robert Crown Center and ultimately was recognized for 35 years of service by the City.
Zarski was also a dedicated Special Olympics athlete, winning medals in bowling, basketball, bocce ball and track. As a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs and Northwestern Wildcats, he attended many home games of the teams and enjoyed meeting players and coaches.
A memorial service and Mass is scheduled for April 10, at 10 a.m. in St. Athanasius Catholic Church. The family requests that donations be made in his memory to the Special Olympics or to the charity of your choice.
In addition to Amelia, of Evanston, Zarski is survived by his siblings, Michael, of Wilmette and David of Philadelphia. He is also survived by nieces Sylvia, Julia and Lila Zarski. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond W. and Charlotte Popiel Zarski and niece Anna Zarski.