Michael (Geeps) Neal Zeenkov


Michael (Geeps) Neal Zeenkov, 96, of Montgomery Village, died on Jan. 11, peacefully at home under hospice care. His wife of 75 years, Thelma Zeenkov, and his daughters, Vicki Courlang and Roberta Chimera, were at his side.

He was born on July 30, 1927, to May and Victor Zeenkov in Brooklyn, N.Y. Michael graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and joined the Army, where he served as a medic during World War II. His color blindness keeping him out of the Air Force and his love of flying.

Michael attended the University of Miami, Syracuse University, North Carolina State and finally Hofstra, where he received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1959. He worked for RCA, Republic Aviation and Fairchild Industries, where he worked on radar systems and developed electrical systems for the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog.

While doing research for the U.S. Postal Service in 1975, he received a patent (#3,868,478) for his design and development of an electro-mechanical package mail sorting system. He married Thelma Shirley Lazarus in 1948, and they had two children, Roberta and Vicki.


Michael is survived by his wife; two daughters; sons-in-law, Edward Courlang and David Chimera; four grandsons, Blake and Alex Courlang, Daniel and Gregory Chimera; four great-grandsons, Carmen and Calvin Chimera, Teddy and Charlie Chimera; and one great-granddaughter, Talia Courlang.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society.

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