World War II veteran, 94, remembered as family man quick with a joke

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Charles Zwartendyk had many hobbies.

Photography. Woodworking. Reading mysteries. 

And eating chocolate — perhaps his most widely shared hobby.

But Zwartendyk, who died April 17 at the age of 94, will be best remembered for his love and dedication to his family, an obituary shared with KGET said. 

He’s survived by his wife of 74 years, Mary, daughters Cheri Schurict and Kay Hall, grandchildren Carly Cloer, Lisa Hamilton, Matt Hall and Chris Hall and 12 great-grandchildren. 

“He loved bragging about them all,” the obituary says.

Born Nov. 18, 1924 in Bakersfield, Zwartendyk graduated from Kern County Union High School (now Bakersfield High) and attended one year at Bakersfield College before joining the U.S. Navy in 1942. He served until the end of World War II. 

He met Mary while working as an aviation machinist stateside. She was a volunteer at the USO.

They married in 1944, and after the war Zwartendyk managed the family business, Molhook Machine Works, for 38 years.

“Chuck was a hard worker who took pride in whatever he did, but while work was important, the most important part of his life was his family, and he was always sure to be home every night for dinner with the family,” the obituary says. 

Zwartendyk and his wife traveled often. They visited Hong Kong, Egypt, Mexico and made trips throughout Europe. 

He was a member of the 25-gallon club at Houchin Community Blood Bank, but joked he only donated blood for the free doughnuts. He loved to laugh and was quick with a joke, the obituary says. 

Zwartendyk’s family thanked the staff of Optimal Hospice and Brookdale Riverwalk for their “kindness, care and attention.” 

A service was held Monday morning at Bakersfield National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asked donations be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children or a favorite charity. 

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