In Memory

Thomas Zitver VIEW PROFILE

Thomas Arye Zitver June 29 1951 June 18 2020 (age 68)

Posted on  by 

June 29 1951 June 18 2020 (age 68)
Obituary On Thursday, June 18, 2020, Thomas Arye Zitver of Washington, DC, passed away at the age of 68. Predeceased by his parents, Leon and Saretta Zitver, and his nephew, Daniel Zitver Brown. Thomas is survived by his siblings, Eugene Zitver, Annette Green (David) and Murray Zitver (Julie Rapp); his nieces, Hannah Zitver Brown (Nate Hetzler) and Leah Green (Ben Eland), and his nephew, Adam Green (Corinne). Services will be held privately at King David Memorial Gardens in Falls Church, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, 6600 York Road, Suite 204, Baltimore, MD 21212. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Arye Zitver, please visit our floral store.



go to bottom 
  Post Comment

06/21/20 06:41 PM #1    

Leland Gamson

     In third grade Tom moved to Bannockburn, and we became close friends. We would compete, in his house, to see who could build the highest wood block tower, before it came tumbling down. When our world expanded, we biked to Glen Echo shopping center. We enjoyed finding bottles, to cash in at High's (now a Seven Eleven). We rarely failed to find enough glass bottles to exchange for ice cream cones. At two scoops for a nickel, our expeditions were self funded. If we found larger bottles, we would buy Superman comics for a dime. By the time the comics went for 15 cents, we outgrew them. That didn't stop us from checking out the Chris Reeve's Superman movies, together in our early adulthood. Yes, we agreed that Christopher Reeve's, got the "real Superman" character, right. After all, we were experts on Superman.

      As we progressed through elementary school, we were exposed to a broader world. I have fresh memories of Tom taking a keen interest in the Greeks, Romans, Vikings and the Mercury space flights. I still remember argueing with him, about who contributes more to space flight, the astronauts or rocket engineers. We would frequently spend the night at each other's house. We both got along well with each other's siblings. Tom saw the Twilight Zone, for the first time at the Gamson house. He agreed that it was more than just a modern "scarry show", as it had a Spiritual theme.

     At twelve, I got a poodle puppy, Flip. He followed us on our romps through Bannockburn. Now, we were three, and Tom and I would take turns "speaking" for Flip. We agreed Flip was the cutest dog on the planet. At Whitman, we were both active participants in the John Peter Altgeld Society. We listened to, and asked questions of, a wide variety of speakers. We grappled with concepts, such as World Federalism, gender roles, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, the threat of totalitarianism, and the purpose of higher education. In 1964 and 1966, we voluntered in the campaigns of Royce Hanson and Spellman for Congress. The latter was an early "peace" candidate.

     Both of us went to college in the Midwest, to experience a different region of the US. Tom went to Grinnel in Iowa, majoring in math. He taught math for a year, in a private high school. This surprised me, because  he was an introvert. When he discovered that most his students did not share his enthuaism for math, he became an actuary. For a few years, he lived in Bannockburn, and communited by bike, to his office at the OPM. After I left the the D.C. area, I would meet him for lunch, when back in town. We solved the world's problems, as we did, when members of the John Peter Altgeld Society. When in early middle age, I took my wife, Bonnie, to see Tom's boyhood home and meet his mother. Tom lived in an apartment on Capitol Hill for years and years. It was there that he died. He never told me about his cancer.

   Randy Alcorn, wrote a book simply entitled, "Heaven". He says that there are extroverts, who will spend eternity, in the inner court of Elohim's Celestial Kingdom. They will thrive in a place with bright colors and music, enjoying the company of multitudes. Others, who are by nature introverts, will be at home in the most outer parts of Heaven. There, their home is one of blissfull solitude. They are content with the company of just a few. Tom is among the latter. Tom, give my regards to your mother, father and, our forever cute, dog  pal, Flip.

Leland Gamson



06/22/20 10:20 AM #2    

Paul Freedman

I don't have Leland's insights and memories to add about Tom.  I remember him as bright and studious. I believe we were both in the 6th grade class of a kind of humanist, kind of reconstructionist Jewish Sunday school that met across from what used to be the Bethesda public library. Thanks Leland for sharing.

06/22/20 10:55 AM #3    

Scott Mason


So nice of you to post this on Tom.  Fond childhood memories.  Your comments brought back many memories of the somewhat idyllic world in which we thrived as youngsters.  My how the world has changed.  I retain many fond memories of our days growing up in Bethesda.  Remarkable in hindsight how many of us spent the bulk of our childhoods growing up in one community--Bethesda.  Doubt that many kids get to do that today.  

Like me, my wife Melanie has many childhood memories and an active alumni association from her high school.  She graduated from the same school as her 93 year old mother in NJ. 

I appreciate you taking the time to remind me of so many wonderful memories of growing up together.  I was touched your comments regarding our different personalities and how that has played out for each of us.  All the best



06/22/20 11:15 AM #4    

Larry Wagman

Tom (he was Tommy back then) was one of my good friends in nursery school and elementary school. He liked to talk about interesting things, and he talked about them from an interesting perspective. My thought precesses were much more run-of-the-mill. Tommy made me think.

06/26/20 06:24 PM #5    

Marian Greenspan

I’m sorry to hear of Tom’s passing.   To me, he was Tommy, a nice kid who lived down the block in Bannockburn.  He was part of my childhood although we weren’t close friends.   Lee’s moving eulogy brought back memories of Whitman’s John Peter Altgeld Society, and Paul’s of the Jewish Sunday School that met at Bethesda Elementary, activities that Tom and I had in common.

06/27/20 08:44 AM #6    

Diane Gallop


I knew Tom as a family friend.  I have wonderful memories of his siblings and mine piling into the back of his parents' station wagon after a meal to go to High's for ice cream, among others that now seem idyllic dreams.  Tom had an indelible presence and a face so simpatico, full of depth and barely suppressed humor, forever etched in my memory.  He seemed an old soul, possessed of inner authority.  He was a kind, sweet person, a rare find.  I can only imagine that the pain he experienced from bone cancer was agonizing.


go to top 
  Post Comment


Click here to see Thomas' last Profile entry.