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Robert Parker Zakes

May 16, 1974 - February 11, 2019

Our wonderful son, Rob, has gone to live with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and his grandparents and nephew Ethan Zakes in heaven.  Rob peacefully left this earth on February 11th with his mother and father at his side. He was born in Annapolis Maryland on May 16th 1974 to Bob and Sue Zakes. The family moved to Oregon from New York in 1979.
Rob battled colon cancer with every fiber of his being for more than eight years. He was so brave and met every challenge of his illness with incredible strength and courage, never giving up until the end. He loved life and had so much more that he still wanted to do.  He was a hiker and lover of the outdoors. His favorite pastime was hiking mountains and forests with his dad and loyal Golden Retriever, Gracie. He loved traveling and his favorite visits were to Costa Rica where he hiked the beaches and the rain forest taking many beautiful photographs.  Rob graduated from North Salem High School and Whitman College in Walla Walla Washington with a degree in Economics. He was a manager at the Oregon State Hospital until he left due to his illness.  Rob loved all sports. He was an excellent snow skier, was on many soccer teams, and was a cross country runner and wrestler in high school. He also loved tennis and racquet ball and baseball. He was a member of Saint Paul’s Church serving as an acolyte and singing in the choir as a young boy.  Rob was a lover of all animals especially his golden retriever, Gracie with whom he had a strong bond and our llamas. Rob was a llama whisperer and they followed him anywhere. He was an avid birdwatcher with many rare sightings to his credit.  Rob loved his family and Jesus. He was very close to his brothers and sister and their families. He leaves his parents Bob and Sue, brother Brad and wife Nancy, brother Doug and wife Karla, sister Tracy Wojt and husband Tom and nephews Aaron, Dominic, Tristan  and Tanner, and nieces Tenley and Morgan.  The family wishes to thank Dr. John Strother at Salem Oncology for the care he provided him through many years of his courageous fight and the prayers of Saint Paul’s congregation and friends and family.  If desired please donate to the Oregon State Parks Foundation, in memory of Rob. He chose this because of his love of the outdoors.  www.  Services will be held Friday, February 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1444 Liberty St SE, Salem OR followed by a celebration in the church library.

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Guest Book Entries

Dear Rob, thank you for your love of animals and the outdoors. We will miss your notes and pictures we would share of our beloved pets and trips. You had the spirit of an eagle and the will of a lion, we admired your courage and were so proud of the life you lived. Love you always, Aunt Noel & Uncle Stan

Dear Bob and Sue,
we are so sorry to hear of your loss.  Memories of that sweet little boy in Cub Scouts and at softball games are visiting our hearts and thoughts.   Blessings to you and your family, Fred and Susan Wiggins

Dear Sue and Bob, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your son, Rob. I remember him as being the cute little Cub Scout who came to my house along with my son, Shawn, and several other neighborhood boys for their regular scout meetings. It sounds like he led a very full life in his years on this Earth and was a kind and loving soul. May God bless your entire family.

There were only those few years when we were all together in Maryland that our little ones giggled and played together but I remember him dearly. You spoke of him often over all these years and I know how proud you are of who he became and the bravery with which he lived. Know my heartfelt sadness at your loss. Darlene McCullah 

Jane and I both realize the courage and determination that Rob exerted in his fight against colon cancer. We are glad that you have such strong support from your family and friends. You have our sincere condolences and best wishes.

Chuck and Jane Thomas


To Rob, paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw, life was a splendid torch and he made it burn brightly before handing it future generations. Bob and Sue, you raised a special son.

Dear Bob and Sue, although we never had the privilege of meeting Rob, we know he was wonderful and courageous son who was such an inspiration to all.  His love and zest for life and his incredible spirit will be kept alive with all the beautiful memories that you and your family will forever hold dear to your hearts and may those cherished memories bring you help bring you some peace in the days to come.  There are no words to express our deep sadness but please know we will continue to carry you close to our hearts and our thoughts and prayers will be with you daily.  Our love and deepest sympathy to you and your family during this time of unimaginable loss.
Ann and Dave English