Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Robert “Bob” Madison Zdenek, Colonel, USAF (Retired)September 14, 1948 – March 11, 2011
Colonel Robert Madison Zdenek, 62, of Shalimar, Fla., passed away Friday morning, March 11, 2011.
Robert was born September 14, 1948, in Chicago to his parents, Robert and Betty. He was the oldest of five children. He dedicated 31 years to his country in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and received several decorations and medals for his service. On retirement, his fellow servicemen remembered him for his passion for people and insatiable drive for success.
Robert was happily married to Linda R. Zdenek for 39 years. Being on the water was a part of who Robert was. He was an avid fisherman in constant search of the big bass.
Robert is survived by his wife, Linda; his daughters, Ericka, and Samantha and husband Jay Wells; two grandchildren, Katherine Cruz and Corben Wells; his mother, Betty Zdenek-Rosenbaum; his siblings, Dave and his wife Julie, Jim, Jeff, and Jean Zdenek. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert J. Zdenek.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be Friday, March 18, at Shalimar United Methodist Church, 1 Old Ferry Road, Shalimar, beginning at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society.
Condolences may be shared at www.daviswatkins.com~High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of EarthAnd danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirthOf sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred thingsYou have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swungHigh in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flungMy eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blueI’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy graceWhere never lark, or ever eagle flew —And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trodThe high untrespassed sanctity of space,Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr
~ GUEST BOOK ~
03/17/2011Zman, I will miss you and the memory of your humor making life at 23 AF easier. Fly on, my friend.~Mike Scott
03/17/2011Our thoughts and prayers go out to Linda and the Family. Bob was a great warrior and friend. We worked together at AFSOC HQ on many SOF issues, we always looked to him for insight and great council. What a great guy, he will be missed!~Tom Kleiv, Col (Retired)
03/17/2011You don’t know me but you know my parents, Pat and Jim Doty. I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I know that my parents will greatly miss Bob. You are in my prayers.~Susan Willard
03/16/2011Sad to hear Bob’s passing. He was always a great friend, be it in the air, on the ground, or in the boat. His patriotism was an inspiration. Sincerest condolences to the family.~Lorren (Rus) Stiles
03/16/2011Dear Ericka and family, Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in the passing of your beloved Robert. I met him only once and was very impressed that such a commanding presence of a man still had a heart and fondness for the birds and signs of nature around him. He was indeed a unique human being, and I felt honored to meet and know him. Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.~Dee Wilder
03/16/2011Ericka,Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.~Kristin Mullikin
03/16/2011My prayers go out to Ericka and Family. I pray that healing from this will come and be sealed in the comfort of knowing that he is no longer suffering. Remember the love and joy that he brought to you and know that you now have another angel on your side!~Anitra Thomas
03/16/2011Ericka, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family as you move forward with your lives. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my Dad. I cherish thinking of those things about him I still enjoy and love. Sometimes I’ll think of something he said that made me laugh or the times when he was so gentle, not characteristic of a man of his time. My wish and prayer for you is that as time passes your grief will be replaced by these reflections and memories and you will smile, laugh, cry and be comforted by the reality that he is still there.~Peace and Love Paul Martell
03/15/2011I have been praying and thinking about your family during these past several weeks. I know it must be difficult to lose someone so dear to you. I encourage you to find strength in the memories you will keep forever. They will always keep you close to him. With my deepest sympathies,~Wendy Spencer
03/15/2011Dear Linda, Ericka and Sam,Our thoughts are with you all. We will be thinking and praying for you on Friday. Sorry we could not make the trip down. We really wanted too.~Patti and Jeff Marti
03/15/2011Our prayers and thoughts are with the Zdenek family. Stacie and I have both experienced the loss of our fathers and know the grief you are experiencing. Our grief was tempered with great memories of our time together. We trust that you too have great memories and adventures of life with Robert. Our prayers are with you.~Tom and Stacie Linley
03/15/2011Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s whole family. He was much too young!Love,~Jo & Dan Franklin
03/15/2011We didn’t have a chance to meet Colonel Zdenek, but I know that he must have been a wonderful man because he raised a bright, compassionate and caring daughter, Ericka. She’s shared many wonderful stories about her family and speaks fondly about her Dad, which shows that she was secure in his love. I know this is a sad time for your family, but remember to celebrate his life and remember him as he was, because he would not want you to be sad for him. He’s left a wonderful legacy and he is certainly happy again, in his next life.~Our Deepest Sympathies, Paula & David Johnson
03/15/2011My deepest condolences go out to the family of such a great man. Ericka is a dear friend of mine and you all are in my prayers! If I can do anything besides make an American Cancer Society donation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.~Tyisha Anthony
03/15/2011Although I did not know Robert Zdenek for long I look forward to knowing him more through the Zdenek family; may peace come to all family and friends of Robert Zdenek.~Sincerely, Matt McKibbin