Obituary of Mervin Eldred Zinck
It is with heavy hearts that we reflect on the 80 years of life of Mervin Eldred Zinck, of New Germany, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. Mervin passed away at home with his family by his side on the evening of Tuesday, February 6, 2024. He was born November 30, 1943 in New Germany. He was the son of the late William Benjamin and Doris Evelyn (Fancy) Zinck.
Mervin started out working in the construction industry. It wasn’t long when he decided that maybe he could support his young family by starting his own business. Working with his wife Eva, Mervin E. Zinck Excavating was established where he proudly worked alongside his three sons, and eventually grandchildren, to build a successful business that provided for the family for many decades. They installed septic systems, dug basements for new homeowners, worked for Nova Scotia Power, the Department of Transportation assisting in the building and repair of roads all over Nova Scotia, hauled Christmas trees internationally, and provided snow removal for businesses in the community for many years.
Mervin and Eva shared many adventures together. They had the opportunity to travel throughout the US, they enjoyed going to and participating in car shows, flea markets, and made the time to drive their Harley Davidson motorcycle. Together they often went for drives and always stopped for supper before heading home.
In his younger years, Mervin loved to play hockey. It was a passion passed down to his three boys, grandson and great-grandsons. He was a well respected coach. Darren, Wally and David spent much of their childhood traveling to cold rinks across Nova Scotia, often providing other young players with a lift to the game too. Over the years, Mervin was well known for his skate sharpening. Players young and old dropped their skates off in the basement for him to sharpen and have a chat.
Mervin’s community was important to him and he was proud to call New Germany his home. Each year, he looked forward to the Canada Day celebrations. Proudly participating in the parade with his Power of the Past gas engine display and later being a member of the New Germany Canada Day Committee. He and Eva worked hard to set up booths, order supplies and organize volunteers to supply the community with Merv’s Ribbon Fries on that day. Mervin designed and built The New Germany and Area Lions Express Train. This train continues to be used to raise money that goes back into New Germany and area. Mervin liked to have fun, and enjoyed spending time at the lake. He built and raced hydroplane boats, water skied, and tubed. He owned, created and maintained the swimming area on New Germany Lake that has been enjoyed by the public for decades. In more recent years, Mervin was a proud member of the Bluenose Flying Club and hosted weekly fly-in’s and an annual Pilot’s Picnic to showcase local pilots and plane enthusiasts from the maritimes. This event was open to the public and well attended by the community.
Mervin was a jack of all trades. The list of projects and equipment that he could fix was never ending. He was a designer, an innovator, a mechanic, a builder, and a dreamer. There wasn’t a project too big that he didn’t have the confidence to take on. He painstakingly restored vintage gas station memorabilia, Acadia Gas Engines, antique vehicles, and heavy equipment. He was particularly proud of the building of his float plane and hanger, his shingle mill and complete restoration of his father’s steam engine. He built his family home and shop with his own hands. For many years, Mervin worked alongside Ross Farm, taking his make and break engine to help them get their yearly grain thrashing completed. Visitors often showed up at the shop with a project for him to take a look at and offer his expertise.
Above all his interests, talents and skill, Mervin was a family man. He was proud of his wife, their three boys and his grandchildren. He and Eva made time to attend every special occasion, rarely missing a birthday or get together. He always arrived at birthday celebrations with his homemade ice cream to share. Mervin made the time to be involved in the lives of those he loved. He spent countless hours with his children and grandchildren tinkering with dirtbikes; teaching young riders how to drive on the trail, building trikes, guiding new mechanics, and patiently teaching and sharing his own endless life knowledge and skills.
Mervin is survived by his wife of 59 years, Eva Joan (Russell). His three boys, Darren (Jesse Dexter), Wally, David (Shelley), all of New Germany. Grandchildren, Mandie and her mom, Sandra Lohnes, Nicholas, Rachael, Christopher and Jennie, step-grandsons, Devon and Nathan; great-grandchildren, Spencer, Madelyn, Max, Jayla, Hudson and Harleigh; sister, Heather (Rev. Sandy) MacPherson, Morrisburg, Ontario, brother, Brenton (Melissa) Zinck, New Germany; and many nieces, nephews and cousins, and his special Duck Toller dogs, Annie and Molly.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by sisters, Susie Vanvolkenburg, Holly Bailey, Marilyn Hubley, and Bernice Savoie; brothers, William Jr. “Billy”, David and Linwood.
A social gathering to share stories and celebrate Mervin’s life will be held 2-4 p.m., Sunday, February 18, 2024 at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Convention Centre, 527 Highway 10, Cookville. Immediate family flowers only please, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, New Germany Fire Department or a charity of choice.
Arrangements and Celebration of Life under the direction of Sweeny’s Funeral Home, 4895 Highway 10, New Germany where on-line condolences and messages may be made by visiting www.sweenysfuneralhome.com.