Colin Zylka

Colin Zylka

Thursday, July 3rd, 1958 - Sunday, July 12th, 2020
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Colin David Zylka of Mosier, Oregon passed away Sunday, July 12, 2020. He was born on July 3, 1958 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His parents were Stanley and Regina Cyganiak Zylka who predeceased him in 2015 and 2016.

Colin lived most of his life in the Milwaukee and Waukesha area having worked first for many years at Sears. He started as a stocker in the paint department at 17 and left after having rotated through almost every department and managing many areas. After finishing at Sears, Colin went on to work at The Underwater Connection as a scuba instructor, a course director and retail sales. Colin was charged with training new instructors as well as taking people on exotic dive vacations. In 2017 Colin and wife Jean moved to Oregon to enjoy retirement. Colin became involved with many new activities and rekindled an old love of Ham radio. He was active with Friends of the Columbia Gorge, The Nature Conservancy and several radio clubs along with other interests. He loved learning and became a Master Naturalist as well as a Master Gardner and this year was participating in the Oregon Bee Atlas. He loved to do projects around the property and made countless updates and improvements that will last forever.

Colin is survived by his wife Jean (Matthisen), brother Kevin (Dawn), niece Ashley (Joe) Okupniak, mother in law Nancy Matthisen, brother in law James (Leslie Jones) Matthisen, niece Erica Matthisen, nephew Dylan Matthisen and close family friend Kathy Cunningham.

There will be no services at this time due to the current COVID situation. Colin did touch many people’s lives through his many activities and I encourage each of you to hoist a cold one and share your remembrances with your local friends and family.

Memorial donations can be made online or mailed c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center to the following organizations, or a charity of your choosing; Friends of the Columbia Gorge (,
The Nature Conservancy (, Divers Alert Network (

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Visit to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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Monica Fedel

Posted at 11:31pm
Dear Jean, Colin was a very special person to me when we were teens. I am so glad he was able to retire young and enjoy his time with you in Oregon. I had no idea he passed but just saw a notice tonight and I am so very sad. I’ve had Cancer twice and know how each moment is special. God bless you and your family. Heaven has a really nice boy up there ( I didn’t know the man).

Faith Opsteen

Posted at 01:24pm
Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.
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Dee Dee Ugent

Posted at 02:57pm
DearJean, my heart aches for you. A tree has been planted, to honor Colin and your shared love, of all things nature, both on land and in the sea.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Colin Zylka — Plant a Tree Now

Evie Werra

Posted at 09:48pm
Jean, I was so sorry to hear about your husband, Colin. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory that no one can steal. All your happy memories that you shared with Colin will help you get through this difficult time. Take care my friend. Evie Werra

Roxanne and Gary Zastrow

Posted at 08:09pm
Our deepest sympathy to Jean and family during this time. We feel your pain. Colin was a great guy, we are grateful to experience travel ,love of life and scuba with him and Jean. He was there to support us for our first ocean dive in the Phillipines! Wow, he really looked after us, it was a start of other memorable experiences shared with him, Jean and other like minded friends. Rest in peace.

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