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Daniel R. Zenka


Daniel Richard Zenka, 58, passed away on September 4, 2016 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, California after an unexpected, severe cardiac event. During his week-long coma, Dan was surrounded by family and friends. Many came in person, others sent audio, video and text messages via social media. Some present provided earphones and played his favorite music. Another at Dan’s bedside played his favorite song, Moon River, on his flute. Dan left this world surrounded by love. Appropriate for a man whose smile lit up a room, laughter filled so many hearts, and life inspired many here and abroad.

Long Island, New York was the starting line. Dan was raised by second-generation Lithuanian parents, Daniel Albert Zenka and Nellie Civinskas. He was also doated upon by older sisters, Lorraine and Joanne who, no matter his age, often referred to him as Baby Brother whether he liked it or not. At St. Mary’s High School, Dan’s personality started to really bloom with roles in several stage productions. During high school, theater played a large part in Dan's life, as he participated in stage productions not only at St. Mary's High School but also at the St. Aidan's Chapel Players, a community drama group for teens. He was, even then, popular for his humor, outgoing nature and loyal friendship.

Dan moved to Los Angeles, California and graduated with a Bachelors Degree from the University of Southern California. He also completed a summer of special studies at Cambridge Univerity, United Kingdom. At USC, Dan enjoyed the brotherhood of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and stayed in touch with a number of members.

Soon after graduation, Dan embarked on a 30-year career in corporate communications. As a Public Relations Executive, Dan designed and executed successful communications programs for North American, the European Union and Asian markets. His expertise ranged from a starting public relations position with an epicurian magazine group, to nanoscience, microtechnology, medicine and the arts.

His work and lifestyle enhanced his enthusiam for seeing the world. Dan traveled thoughout most of Europe, parts of Africa, Iceland, China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and too many other countries to list. As well, Dan and his family lived in The Netherlands for several years.

While Senior Vice President, Communications for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Dan himself was diagnosed with that same challenging illness. With the incredible positive attitude he always exuded, Dan used his experiences with surgery and treatment to start a blog that reached out offering support, education and heart-felt encouragement to others, and their loved ones, dealing with prostate cancer.

Nothing slowed Dan down. He and his wife at the time, Mary Ellen Lennox, adopted two boys, Jordan and Aidan. Dan became a top-notch dad, relishing the ups and down of raising his family, enjoying their fun adventures at home and abroad. Dan, a talented cook, loved entertaining friends at home (whether it be in California, Oregon or Europe) with fine wine, delicious meals, and lively conversation. In recent times, he sometimes added playing the saxaphone.

Memorial services will be held on Long Island, NY, and Portland, OR. In addition, there will be a memorial celebration in Los Angeles, CA.

To say Dan was a People Person is an understatement. He will be missed, and loved forever, by many. Dan is survived by his 93-year-old father, Daniel A. Zenka, sisters Lorraine Zenka and Joanne Meritet, nephew Michael, niece Danielle, and sons Jordan and Aidan.

The Arts Consortium - Donations can be sent to the organization Dan Zenka worked for before he passed, known as The Arts Consortium. Dan was passionate about promoting arts in education and served as the Executive Director of the Consortium. Donate at

Movember - Cancer was a personal battle Dan fought and he was Saturdvery involved with Movember, an organization that makes global contributions to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Donate online at or mail donation to: Movember Foundation, P.O. Box 1595, Culver City, CA 90232


Saturday, September 24

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

New Hyde Park Funeral Home

506 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park, NY


Saturday, September 24

1:00 PM

New Hyde Park Funeral Home

506 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park, NY

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