Deceased September 16, 2018
My roommate and great friend died on Sept. 16 at home in Laguna Nigel, Calif. John came to Amherst from Westfield High School in New Jersey. At Amherst he majored in economics and played varsity football (a 165-pound tackle!) and varsity baseball. After college he became a U.S. Air Force pilot, which shaped his working career: 27 years flying for TWA.
His greatest loves, other than family, were music, especially jazz, airplanes and old movies. Fittingly, his son Tom (Anne) of Long Beach, Calif., is a jazz pianist and son Andy (Carolyn) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., is an airline pilot.
After retiring, he kept busy with sports, working out, volunteering at Chino Air Museum and his church, leading the Old Bold Pilots in Carlsbad and flying aerobatics out of Orange County Airport.
What I will most remember about John is his interest in people, his joy in friendship, spending time and giving to those he cared for. He would volunteer before being asked. He never sought the limelight but was comfortable in the background doing what was necessary. The world would be a better place if we had more John Zinks.
John and his wife, Carol, have been my best friends for almost 70 years. They were high school sweethearts and married two weeks after graduation from Amherst. Their marriage was a true loving partnership. They lived for more than 50 years in Laguna Nigel, a community in the rolling hills of Southern California, just three miles from the ocean. John, you truly made your world a better place.
Neil Hurlbut ’56