Thomas Eugene Zava passed away at 9:30 Tuesday morning, September 10 at Park West
Medical Center. He was born in Victoria (Lunenburg County) Virginia on September 16,
1922. Tom's parents immigrated from Europe in the early 1920's, and Tom held the
distinction and privilege of being the first in his Albanian family to be born in America.
Tom graduated with honors from Victoria High School in 1940 and received a Bachelor of
Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Richmond in 1944.
Tom was a veteran of World War II. He received his basic training in Camp Barkley, Texas
and Medical Corp training at Ft. Benjamin Harris, Indiana. He then received secret orders
to report to the Manhattan District, Special Engineering Detachment in Oak Ridge,
Tennessee. He was the only serviceman selected from the state of Virginia to serve in the
In 1984 Tom retired from K-25 after 40 years of service in chemistry and analytical labs as
a technician and supervisor throughout K-25.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents Urania Sota and Eugene Spiro Zava, brothers,
Michael, Edwin, Patrick, and sister, Lily Mae Garrett. He is survived by his wife, Sybil
Royster Zava, daughter Andrea Kathryn Zava and husband Dan Wilson; sons David
Thomas Zava and wife Sherri; and, William Eugene Zava and wife Lauren; and brother,
Eugene Spiro Zava, Jr. Tom is also survived by his grandchildren David Clay (North
Carolina), Theodore Thomas, Corinna Catherine Zava (Portland, Oregon); Emily Kim,
Louis Alberto, June Erin Zava (Germantown, TN); Dana Wilson Litke and husband Andrew
(Falls Church, VA); and great grandchildren Mathea Brogan and Hallie Otelia Zava and
their Mother Cynthia Zava (North Carolina).
Tom served many years as a deacon, Sunday School Superintendent and choir member
at First Baptist Church, and was a member of Kiwanis. Because of interest and devotion to
the Oak Ridge school system, he was awarded lifetime membership to the Parent Teacher
Association of Tennessee. He devoted many hours conducting tours and doing grounds
maintenance for the Bleak House in Knoxville (United Daughters of the Confederacy, of
which his wife is a member). As a result of his support and outstanding contributions to the
United Daughters of the Confederacy, Tom was awarded the Stonewall Jackson Service
Medal. He also enthusiastically embraced square dancing, gardening, wildflower trips,
fishing, bowling, and traveling through all of the continental United States.
The family is extremely grateful for the excellent and special care he received from Jerry
Lindsay, Lana Rinker, and Teresa Dixon who have a special place in Sybil and Tom's
Receiving of friends will be at Martin Funeral Home in Oak Ridge from 12:00 to 2:00 on
Saturday, September 14. Burial will be at Anderson Memorial Gardens on Saturday,
September 14, at 2:30.
Memorials can be made to First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge or the Bleak House in