Theodore (Ted) Gregory Zrelak

Date of Birth

November 9, 1936

Theodore (Ted) Gregory Zrelak was born November 9, 1936, in East Liverpool, OH, to Rudolph and Kathryn Zrelak. When he was twelve, the family moved to San Bernardino, CA. Ted graduated from High School in San Bernardino and attended college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for two years. He worked part time for the U.S. Forest Service and eventually attended Utah State University in Logan, UT graduating in Forest Management. He worked summers in Southern Utah. After college, Ted’s career took him to California working for the San Bernardino National Forest as Junior Forester, timber management, resource officer and fire management. He was District Ranger on the Los Padres National Forest two different times: Frazier Park on the Mt. Pinos district and King City on the Monterey district. He was then transferred to Riverside as fire coordinator at the South Zone lnteragency Center. In 1979, Ted transferred to Santa Barbara to take the position as Fire Management Officer for the Los Padres NF. In 1984, Ted transferred to Pennsylvania to become Assistant Director of fire and aviation working with 20 Eastern states. In 1990, Ted was transferred to San Dimas, CA working as fire specialist at the Technology and Development Center where he retired in 1992. Ted and his wife, Sharon, moved back to Santa Barbara for their retirement years. After his Forest Service career, he worked for Rezek Emergency Equipment going to forest, state, and county fires setting up lights, kitchen equipment, etc. for the fire crews. Ted was a member of the Society of American Foresters and the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge. He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister and brother. He is survived by his wife Sharon of 63 years, a son, Chad of Paso Robles, daughter, Julie George of Bowie, MD, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Services will be held at St. Raphael Church in Goleta, CA on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM.  Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.


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