Joseph Theodore Zartler, 85, of Moss Bluff, LA, passed away at 6:00 AM on Sunday, March 12, 2023 in a local care facility.
Mr. Zartler was born March 3, 1938 in Allentown, PA, where he was a 1955 graduate of Allentown Central Catholic High School. In 1994, work brought him to Fort Polk, LA where he was a Project Manager for Philadelphia Electric on a major geothermal energy project on post. After completion of the project at Ft. Polk, he and his wife decided to stay in Louisiana and they moved to Moss Bluff in 1995. He worked as a general construction superintendent for Priola Construction and later for Kraus Construction. He led various projects around Lake Charles, including the renovations at the Calcasieu Parish Court House, Central School, as well as the construction of the Calcasieu Parish Public Works and Animal Control Facility and Westlake City Hall. Mr. Zartler was also known as an excellent cabinet maker. During his younger years, he was a member of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Allentown, PA, where he served as an Altar boy and past president of the Holy Names Society. Also, back in the day, he started and participated in Sally and her All-Stars, a charity softball group, where they would dress as women on the diamond to raise money for various organizations, even performing on the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Mr. Zartler also served as a volunteer fireman in Barnegat, NJ as well as a member of the Barnegat Town Council where he served as Deputy Mayor and prior to that worked as the Building Inspector for the township. Once Mr. Zartler moved to Louisiana, he fell in love with Mardi Gras and has been involved with the Krewe de l’Bon Temps, Krewe de la Maison de Calcasieu, the Krewe of Komova, where he selected as a past King and Duke, and most recently Krewe de Lac. He enjoyed sports of all kinds, except golf, because as he claimed, “golf is for old people, and I’m not old”. He volunteered as a clock operator for the Lake Charles Landsharks and the Southwest Louisiana Swashbucklers and was a member of the SWLA Football Officials Association, operating the clock at local high school football games during the early 2000’s. He was also a past member of the McNeese Cowboy Club. Anybody who knew Joe will remember him for his sense of humor, pranks and quick wit. One thing was guaranteed, when Joe was around, it was never quiet, and you were guaranteed a laugh or two, often telling stories of his younger days, and if you spent enough time around him, chances are you heard those stories multiple times.
Mr. Zartler is survived by his wife of fifty years, Simone Rauch Zartler; son, Eric Zartler (Ashlyn Castete), all of Moss Bluff; daughters, Brenda Gallardo of Highland Falls, NY and Liza Kirschenbaum-Kaufman (Marc) of Morristown, NJ; sister, Barbara Horn of Bethlehem, PA; grandchildren, Rachel Kaufman, Gabrielle Gallardo, Naomi Kaufman, Zoe Zartler, Zane Zartler, and Aaron Castete; along with numerous nephews and nieces, friends, family members, and his companion granddog, Douglas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Zartler and Theresa Orschak Zartler; brothers, James Zartler, Robert Zartler, and Charles Zartler; and son-in-law, Luis Gallardo.
His celebration of life will be at 3:00 PM on his favorite of all holidays, April Fools Day, where nobody he knew was safe from his epic pranks, on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Johnson Funeral Home of Moss Bluff. Rev. Carl White will officiate. A gathering of family and friends will be at the funeral home from 1:00 PM until the start of the service at 3:00 PM.
The family would like to express a special word of thanks to Harbor Hospice, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, and to his study group for Dementia and Alzheimer’s.