Date: Sunday, May 30, 2021
Location: Isaiah Chapel
Cemetery: Wellwood Cemetery
Notes: S. PAUL ZOLA, M.D. June 26, 1926 – May 27, 2021 S. Paul Zola, lovingly known as Skip, passed away peacefully in his home at Meadow Ridge in Redding CT on May 27, 2021, surrounded by his adoring family. Skip was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 26, 1926, to Edith & Louis Zola. He married the love of his life, Ingrid K. Zola on September 1, 1956, whom he met at an NYC hospital where she was working as a nurse. He attended Wesleyan University in CT, and the University of Buffalo Medical School, Buffalo, NY. He was a founder, and Chief of Surgery at Franklin General Hospital in Valley Stream, NY with a private medical practice in Valley Stream and Malverne, NY, performing surgeries as a general surgeon, with a specialization in vascular surgery at South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, NY; Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre, NY; and Nassau County Medical Center, East Meadow, NY. Skip saved countless lives and helped heal thousands of his patients. He was often sought out for his brilliant diagnostic skills and compassionate care. Additionally, he taught surgery at Stonybrook Medical School in Stonybrook, NY. At the age of 70, post-retirement and eager to get back in the medical field, he completed the critical care boards to work as an attending surgeon and ER physician at Nassau County Medical Center. Skip enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 17th birthday during WWII, and served in the U.S. Army in a M.A.S.H. unit during the Korean War. Though he never mentioned it, his actions not only saved lives medically but in combat as well. Upon return from duty, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for bravery in combat. A beloved father survived by his wife, Ingrid Kolseth Zola; daughter, Laurie & (David) Gendell; son Gregory Zola & (Mark Leondires); son Brad Zola & (Leanne Mattey Zola); Robert & (Noelle) Zola; and 13 grandchildren: Alex & Erica Gendell; Austin, Isabelle & Elijah Zola; Daniel, Jodie & Jack Mattey; Annaliese, Lauren & Caroline Zola; and Luke & Owen Zola Leondires. He was predeceased by his sister, Muriel Reichle Zola. Skip raised his family in Rockville Centre, NY, and resided there for 45 years before retiring to Blue Point, NY and then Meadow Ridge, Redding, CT. He was a lifelong learner, spoke multiple languages, delivered jokes with even more numerous authentic-sounding foreign accents, and played guitar, piano, and the harmonica. Crossword puzzles and reading medical literature kept him busy. An avid and competitive tennis player until age 90, he enjoyed family ski trips and loved sailing his boat in the Great South Bay with his friends and family. A friend to many, and one whom you could count on in times of need; a man of few words, but whose heart spoke volumes. In our quest to be the best version of ourselves, Skip led by example, never one to complain or disparage, but to encourage and support. What we’ll miss is what the world needs most right now – unending compassion, empathy, and love.
We are so sorry to hear of Skip’s death. He was a well respected and talented surgeon..he never stopped studying his medical journals. But more than that, he was a dear husband to Ingrid and a beloved father and grandfather to his family. Skip served his community and his profession faithfully and became a role model for many.
We send our sympathy and prayers to the entire family. Rest In Peace.
Cheryl and George Holt
“A great surgeon must have the eye, of an eagle, the heart of a lion, and the hand of the women.”
– Harvey Cushing, MD, FACS
Dr. Zola exemplified all these qualities, and so many more as a compassionate humanitarian, a trusted colleague, most loyal friend, and life-long dedicated learner.
His generous mentorship and keen intellect were sought after by countless others; and just as iron sharpens iron, his wit has sharpened many minds amongst his extended sphere of influence.
He inspired others to stand upon his broad shoulders for a loftier perch, in order to pursue their own passions in life;
and he remained everyone’s most consistent source of applause from the balcony of our lives, as we fondly shared our life experiences with him.
I remain forever grateful for his investment of time, talents, gufts and abilitelies into refining me to becoma the physician, husband, family-man, and medical educator I am today.
This Memorial Weekend, may we also remember Dr.Zola’s highly decorated and selfless service to our country, within both the Army & Navy.
He leaves behind an Officer’s permanent legacy of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
We shall all dearly miss him.
Rest in well-earned Peace, our Beloved Skip.
-Rich & Alicia Bagdonas
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