Zigmund Florian Charney, 79, passed away of peripheral artery disease surrounded by family and caregivers on December 16, 2021 in Fairfax, Virginia.
His greatest love was his family, and he is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Marcia, daughter Carrie Beth Crawford (Richard), granddaughters Jessica and Emily Crawford, and great grandchildren Elijah and Lilly.
Born in 1942 in Ford City, PA to the late Michael J. (Kaiser) and Mary (Stolar) Charney, Zig was the oldest of seven to bless the family. He grew up in Ford City and graduated from Ford City High School, Class of 1960. During his years at FCHS, Zig was a class officer, participated in Student Council, Latin and Spanish Clubs, played football, and was in the cast of the Senior Class play, In addition to driving an ice cream truck for Jolly Rogers, Zig caddied at the Kittanning Country Club. He was active in Boy Scouts, achieving the honored rank of Eagle Scout. He worked as a pin-boy at the CU Club’s bowling alley, saving money to enable him to attend the Boy Scout Jamboree in Philmont, New Mexico. He loved to bowl, attending many Jednota bowling tournaments with family members. He also enjoyed bow hunting in his adult years, and he belonged to a local archery club.
After high school Zig hitchhiked through forty eight states and worked for a short time as a migrant worker. After moving to the Washington, DC area, Zig worked in the office of the Noland Company, a plumbing supply house. Employees noticed he loved to be around plumbing supplies; consequently, he went to plumbing school for six years and achieved the level of Master Plumber. He was introduced by a mutual friend to Marcia Heurich in July 1976, and they were married in October 1976. They settled in Fairfax, Virginia, where they raised their daughter.
Zig received training from Purdue University which enabled him to teach classes at the Plumbers Union for five years. He was a member of the Plumbers Union Local #5 in Washington, DC. for over 50 years. After his retirement in 2005, he worked as a courier delivering mail and packages as far away as Manhattan and Rochester, NY, as well as Kentucky. Zig’s leisure time was filled with scenic drives which he loved. His family called this “going in to ZIGLAND.” This became his hobby of sorts.
Zig was known as a very hardworking man. He had a company on the side and did a great deal of plumbing work for family and friends. He loved to read, especially Westerns and legal thrillers – Louis L’Amour and John Grisham were his favorite authors. He especially enjoyed completing The Washington Post crossword puzzles.
As they say, “You can take the boy out of Western Pennsylvania, but you can’t take Western Pennsylvania out of the boy!” Although living in the Washington, DC area, Zig remained a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates fan. Zig received a four year scholarship from Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company enabling him to attend Penn State University for a year. He joined the ranks of Nittany Lions fans who “bleed blue and white,” and he started a chain of Charney family members who became Penn State alumni.
Predeceased by his parents and siblings Joseph J. (2002), Grace M. (2018), and Andrew M. (2005), he is survived by siblings Elizabeth C. Cieri of Morris Plains, NJ and her children Jill and Todd, Raymond P. Charney of Ford City, and William J. Charney of Hackettstown, NJ. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Elaine G. (Joseph) and their children Jay, Michael, and Troy, and their wives and children, and Susan B. (Andrew) and their children Thomas, Stephanie, and Lisa, and her husband and children. Predeceased by brother-in-law Maurice F. Heurich, he is survived by brothers-in-law Rev. Jimmy Heurich (Sallie), and Tim Heurich (Megan) and their children.
In honoring Zig's request, there will be no funeral. Cremation will be private. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Zig's memory can be made to the Ford City Public Library or to a charity of one's choice. Welch Funeral Service, LLC, 1032 Fourth Ave., Ford City, is assisting the family with local arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Zigmund Florian Charney, please visit our floral store.