CCC service changed life’s path for Edwin Zevotek

Times Observer photos by Josh Cotton A commemorative stone was placed Friday in memory of the Civilian Conservation Corps service of Edwin Zevotek. On hand for the event Friday at the Warren County Visitors Bureau office in Starbrick are two of his children, Marc Zevotek and Donna McDonald. Missing from the photo is their sister Rita Goldthwaite.

A Scranton native who adopted Warren County as his home has been memorialized for his service in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

A stone was placed in memory of Edwin Roger Zevotek as part of Friday’s Civilian Conservation Corps remembrance held at the Warren County Visitors Bureau.

Trees are placed on the east side of the WCVB building as well as commemorative stones that mark the memory of other CCC veterans.

His son, Marc, and daughter, Donna McDonald, were at the event Friday.

Marc said his dad, who passed away at the age of 80 in 1994, was from Scranton and had worked in a coal mine before he was brought here for service at CCC Camp 13 as part of his duties.

That camp is located just outside of Sheffield on Bull Hill and, interestingly, was converted to a German POW camp during World War II.

“Dad absolutely loved the CCC camp,” he said. “(He) lived it and he absolutely loved it.”

The work included building roads, conducting tree surveys as well as timber work.

Marc said his dad also came home from his time in the camp with medals from successful inter-camp boxing matches.

He returned to Scranton after his time in the service but didn’t stay.

He was drawn to this area.

Dr. Michael Schultz, a CCC author and researcher, spoke to Zevotek often and included some of that material in a CCC Legacy journal article in 2013.

“Edwin ‘Zeb’ Zevotek told me that he returned to Sheffield, Pennsylvania, because there was no job in Scranton, Pennsylvania,” Schultz wrote, telling Schultz that he “took a job at the White Tower at two dollars a day plus room and board.”

“He couldn’t take the city (so he) moved here,” Marc said. “I’m so glad he did. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Those recorded interviews are important, Marc said, because it allows him to hear his father’s voice.

Zevotek had already returned to Sheffield by the time he was called into the service in 1944, local newspaper accounts show.

Marc explained that he served in the U.S. Navy in a state-side capacity in California.

A 1966 report in the Oil City Derrick notes that Zevotek was recognized for 25 years of service as a shift foreman at the Knox Glass, Inc. plant in Marienville.

He worked there until his retirement.

The stone at the WCVB, Donna said, came from a neighbor’s yard.

Ed Atwood, organizer of Friday’s event, said he knew Edwin but didn’t know about his service until he saw him in a CCC documentary.

“He would be happy to see this here,” his daughter, Donna, said. “My Dad credited the CCC with changing his life. I know he won’t be forgotten when we’re gone.”


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