Howard Zager signed off on a life well-lived on July 3, 2023. The mold was broken after Howie (as he was affectionately called!) was born to the late Goldie and Hyman Zager on May 10, 1948 in the Bronx, New York. He was a devoted son, brother, uncle and friend. Born to be a teacher, Howie received degrees from SMCC, UCLA, USC and NYU and became a reading specialist. He taught English, History, Spanish and English as a second language at Culver City High School for 37 years, retired for one year but his passion for educating brought him back to the classroom as a substitute teacher for a total of 45 years! He loved his high school, elementary, and home- schooled students, always willing to help them all with their studies. Wherever he went, whether local or far, he ran into students who would happily yell out, “Hi Zager,” calling him by his last name in the most affectionate way! When he retired, the high school dedicated a bench to him in the quad with his name on it - never to be forgotten! He created an educational foundation in the Zager family name to help a deserving student and presented this gift annually.
When Howie was on summer break, he traveled far and wide to over 90 countries and gained unparalleled wisdom and experiences! Besides teaching and traveling, he was a square- dancer, a bartender, loved cooking, and playing piano. He loved the arts and could be found several times a week at the Pantages, Dolby, Ahmanson, Disney, and Mark Taper Theaters. He enjoyed a large range of music from Barbara Streisand to Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald. He loved shopping at swap meets and at 7 PM you could always find him answering many of the questions while watching the television show Jeopardy; a true renaissance man. Time spent at his beloved condo in Port Hueneme was of great joy. He loved wearing his straw hat and taking long walks on the beach, enjoying the ocean and fresh air! He had tremendous energy, always enjoying those he loved as well as strangers! His annual birthday party at El Coyote Restaurant became a tradition for over 80 friends and family members. Howie never missed anything. He even put together a “goodie bag” for every guest!
Left with decades of love and fond memories, Howie is survived by his siblings, Joan Persky (deceased brother-in-law Jack) brother Edward Zager, sister-in-law Karen Denise, and his many nieces and nephews, Mark, Jill, Melissa, Zack, Tanner, Sadie, Bryson, Cadence, Zander, and Arielle.
A service, in memory of Howie, will be held at Home of Peace Memorial Park, 4334 Whittier Blvd. East Los Angeles, on Thursday, July 6, 2023 at 1:00 P.M. followed by a reception at his favorite El Coyote Mexican Restaurant in West Hollywood. Dress comfortably as Howie would request! In lieu of flowers, contributions to Reading Is Fundamental (secure.rif.org) and the American Heart Association (www.heart.org/donate) can be made in Howard’s memory. His final words to all who loved him were, “Don’t be sad. I’ve lived a great and full life for 75 years. Be happy and don’t back-track.
Enjoy every day to the fullest”-and he did!