About Dr. Zoole

An Annadale Memory from his son, Jon Zoole.....

My father died at a relatively young age in 1977. At 68, he was only a couple of years older than we are now.

You may not have known that Dad was an officer in the US Public Health Service from 1935 until 1946 and held the military rank of Lieutenant Commander, when we moved to Staten Island and he went into private practice. The Public Health Service in those days supplied physicians to the Coast Guard and Merchant Marines in addition to its domestic duties.

He met Mom at the Marine Hospital on Staten Island, where she was a nurse. Dad later treated Eskimos in Alaska (Mom and Dad were married in Juneau in 1937) among other adventures and, at the time I came along in '39, he was medical officer at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

We actually lived on Staten Island in 1943 and early 1944, at the US Quarantine Station. I attended kindergarten for a time at PS 13 in Rosebank and attended first grade in Washington, D.C. (Norm, Ken Percheski, Ronnie Biller, etc. and I met in the second grade). During WWII he was one of the senior medical officers who took part in the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach in Normandy. Dad volunteered for this duty and was among the first troops to go ashore on that day.

One of his good friends at the time was a photographer for the Coast Guard who took many of the pictures that have become familiar to everyone. Dad gave me a set of about 60 duplicate originals with the photographer's commentary on the back. Many of these were never published. To mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day, I gave these photos along with some other material, including letters written to my mother about the invasion, to the D-Day museum in N. Orleans. They have promised to make the pictures part of their permanent exhibit along with a picture of Dad that was taken by the same photographer.

He was a pretty special guy. As you know, he was quite short; only about 5' 5", but he was much bigger in my eyes. I am pleased that he is still remembered by his patients because he cared so much for the people he treated. I have some great stories, but that's for another time. Mom sold the house five years ago and moved to a retirement community about two miles from my house. My wife's parents have a house there and Mom has a two-bedroom apartment. At 91, she is still able to enjoy herself. In fact, she just gave up her driver's license this year.