Remembering Frank T. Zuvela, 1922-2024

Family and friends are remembering Frank Zuvela, and sharing this with his community:

Frank Thomas Zuvela, a devoted man of faith, family, and community, lit up a room with his crystal blue eyes and radiant smile. Always energetic with eternal optimism, he could be counted on for a good story or joke.

An entrepreneur at heart, he was an illustrious businessman who spent time as a fisherman and built his own gillnet fishing boat. He was a builder, developer, real estate broker, and most of all a family man. Frank was an impressive dancer. He and his beloved wife, Sharon, whom he snuck into speakeasies when she was underage, would gracefully soar across any dance floor. They loved music, traveled the world, and enjoyed many facets of life together. It’s safe to say he left no stone unturned.

While growing up in West Seattle’s Riverside Croatian community during the Depression, Frank began selling fish he caught at Pike Place Market to help his father support the family after his mother passed. He was a proud graduate of West Seattle High School and commuted daily via the streetcar. He was an avid sports fan who supported the Huskies, Mariners, and Seahawks. He was also a US Navy veteran who served in World War II.

Frank’s passions included dancing, fishing, making his own lures, woodworking, family parties, and golf. He regularly played 18 holes into his 100th year. Later in life, he enjoyed many hobbies including cooking (he made a mean Bolognese), crossword puzzles, gardening, and reading. He loved sharing a meal and his stories with family and friends around the dinner table. Frank was a history buff and began leading tours with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, even helping to create a monument for the community. Always proud of his Croatian heritage, Frank regularly volunteered at Seattle’s annual CroatiaFest, where he enjoyed reconnecting with old friends.

Frank’s will to enjoy life was fierce and he was steadfast in his convictions. He was the definition of a great man who had a profound impact on everyone he met and loved. Pop was compassionate, witty, caring, and had a mischievous sense of humor. When asked what the key was to living to 101, he would say “I married the right woman” and in his humorous fashion would add, “just don’t die” or “keep having birthdays.” His love of Chinese food may also be a secret to longevity.

Frank Zuvela was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend. He is survived by his wife Sharon of seventy years, daughter Karen Santa, son Steven, grandchildren Karri, Tommy, and Nicholas Santa as well as countless other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his son, Thomas Frank.

Pop will be sorely missed by all; may he rest in peace knowing the impact he had on the world was immense & forever lasting.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

5 Replies to "Remembering Frank T. Zuvela, 1922-2024"

  • Alki resident May 25, 2024 (10:22 am)

    Golfed until he was 100, what a significant life he had, WOW. Sorry for your loss. He was a good one

  • thankyou May 25, 2024 (10:34 am)

    I took a tour of Riverside that he led – it was wonderful, as was he. I feel like a received a rare gift by hearing his words and stories.

  • Admiral-2009 May 25, 2024 (11:57 am)

    RIP, wow over a hundred years on this earth and golfing at 100!  The number of WW2 vets in shrinking fast.

  • Kt May 25, 2024 (3:57 pm)

    And over 70 years of marriage.  A life well lived!

  • Clay Eals May 25, 2024 (7:55 pm)

    Indefatigable, unfailingly upbeat, one of the good guys.

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