Leonard Zorcik, 85, of Foxfire Village, died Wednesday, May 4, 2023, at FirstHealth Hospice House, in Pinehurst. He left the world with a peaceful smile, after several years of declining health. His wife, Mary, and sister-in-law Cathy, whom he loved dearly and who loved him even more, were at his side.
Lenny’s personality was as colorful and memorable as the place of his birth, Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was born to Henry and Catherine (Surless) Zorcik on Nov. 22, 1937. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1954 and trained in Special Forces at Fort Bragg, and was deployed to Laos until his honorable discharge in 1957.
His working life was as eclectic as his personality: He was a diamond and jewelry appraiser for the Provident Loan Society in New York City before joining the New York City Police Department, where he held the rank of lieutenant before retiring and managing a collision shop in Port Jefferson, N.Y. But never in his life did he allow his work to define him: His love of nature, children, animals; finding humor no matter the situation; being a perpetual class clown; striking up a conversation at any opportunity with a Brooklyn accent that wouldn’t quit; and going out of his way to drive his family and friends crazy with his wisecracks and legendary “Lennyisms” are what made him the man he was.
He raised four sons in a house he built with his own hands in Centereach, N.Y., and for years enjoyed a second childhood of his own right along with them: RV vacations, muscle cars, ski weekends, muscle cars, school sports, muscle cars (you get the picture), and a house constantly filled with the boys’ friends right up until their adult years. Somewhere along the way golf popped into the picture. With this, another rite of passage was born: the annual golf outing to Myrtle Beach, where presumably some golf did take place when they were not chasing down the beverage carts. Some things are best left to the imagination.
Golf continued to play a significant comic role in Lenny’s life, as anyone who ever stepped up to a tee box with him will attest. No one ever enjoyed the game more or took it less seriously than he did. For years he and Mary, and in-laws Cathy and Charley, called themselves “the fearsome foursome” as they embarrassed themselves on golf courses from Long Island to the Poconos, Myrtle Beach to Moore County. His favorite part of the game was the 19th hole, where he loved to torment young wait staff who had never seen him before with, “I’ll have what I had last time.”
That was only the tip of the iceberg with his restaurant “Lennyisms.” “Yes, I’ll have another drink; this one evaporated”; “What’s the most expensive thing on the menu? My brother-in-law is paying”; “How do I want my steak? Just walk it through the kitchen slowly” …the list goes on. But all he had to see was a military uniform to make him stop the banter, walk over and say, “Thank you for your service.”
He and Mary retired from New York to Foxfire Village in 2007 and were fortunate to enjoy a few good years of making friends and enjoying their new lifestyle before his health took a turn. They discovered the Moore Humane dog park soon after rescuing their giant Newfoundland mix, Hannibal, and made many friends there. Lenny enjoyed the park as much, and maybe more, than his canine pal. The two of them also became a fixture tootling around the back roads of Moore County in a three-door fire-engine red Saturn, and on regular walks through downtown Southern Pines.
Lenny was a longtime member of the pulmonary rehab program at the FirstHealth facility in Southern Pines, where he honed his skills as class clown. He loved good music, bad music and anything in between, and as his friends know, was particularly fond of Andre Rieu and old Yanni CDs. His evenings were not complete without a bowl of good vanilla ice cream, half of which went to Hannibal.
No matter how much his physical and cognitive health declined, he was a stoic fighter and relentless flirt to the end, with a smile that never faded. He loved his wife, his family and his friends, and no one was ever loved more in return. Rest in peace, Lenny. We will never forget you and feel safe in knowing you are watching out for us. Thank you for your service.
Lenny is survived by his wife of 24 years, Mary Novitsky, of Foxfire Village; his sons, John Zorcik and wife, Jacqueline, and Lenny Zorcik and wife, Brenda, all of Centereach, N.Y.; Robert Zorcik, of Rocky Point, N.Y.; and Eric Zorcik and wife, Cheryl, of Indiana; five grandchildren, Justin, Katie, Jacob, Ryan and Brendan Zorcik; his brother- and sister-in-law Charles and Catherine Novitsky, of Pinehurst; a sister, Pat Cupples, of Estero, Florida; longtime special friends Charles and Maritza Webb, of Pinehurst; and other family and friends.
His family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at Fry and Prickett Funeral Home, in Carthage, where visitors will be cordially invited to share their memories of Lenny. Funeral services will be private.
Our heartfelt thanks to the angels of FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care, who for the last year helped Lenny live comfortably, then helped him leave this world with grace and peace.
Memorial donations may be made to them at 150 Applecross Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374, or to a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be made at PinesFunerals.com.
Fry and Prickett Funeral Home is assisting the family.