[Photo courtesy of Spanish Valley Mortuary]

Oscar Walter Zech, our dear Uncle Ozzie, passed away on September 16, 2016, at the Canyonlands Care Center, where he was thoughtfully cared for by the excellent staff for five months.

Ozzie had a varied and exciting 89 years. He was born and lived in Brooklyn, New York. At 17, he joined the U.S. Navy to serve in World War II as a sonar operator on a destroyer. When he returned to New York, he worked in the dangerous and exciting underground gambling industry. He loved going to Broadway shows and music clubs and met Frank Sinatra when he was young at the Copacabana.

Ozzie’s mother was a high fashion buyer for one of New York’s finest department stores, and with her connections, he was able to meet starlets, including Kim Novak and Carol Channing. He also dated many of the famous Radio City Rockettes. Ozzie decided to go West, and settled in Denver in 1960 and met and married Maureen Hunt Rogers, who was from Blanding, Utah.

Friends encouraged the young couple to move with them to Las Vegas, and after “paying his dues” at small casinos, Ozzie worked his way up to a senior executive with Caesars Palace. He and Maureen lived a glamorous and exciting life. Ozzie bought an airplane and boat and they had oodles of fun friends. Eventually, they chose a quieter life in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Hurricanes were a constant threat, and shortly after his wife died, Hurricane Katrina devastated the southeastern coast. Ozzie was one of many who lost everything in the disaster – except for his two beloved dogs.

He joined us to live the past 11 years in Moab and Provo, Utah. We will always remember his kind and gentle nature and his wonderful stories of life in the fast lane. Our thanks to all of you who knew and loved him.

At his request, cremation has taken place and a private family service will take place at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.