Remembering a Samaritan Saint: Gene Zartman

Please join me in pausing to remember a true Samaritan Ministry Saint – Eugene Rufus Zartman, or “Gene” as we all knew him here in the NW office where he served as Front Office Coordinator or “FOC” for the past 5 years.  Gene was here in the NW office as recently as early March, but became ill later in the spring, from complications due to cancer.

In the words or our recently retired Lead Caseworker in the NW office, Annette Carver: “Gene was an excellent FOC.  He enjoyed listening and conversing with the Participants.  He was always willing to assist when an agency needed to be contacted for information to assist a participant.” 

To that I would add just how relaxed, welcoming and professional Gene was.  He was quick with a smile, open to the kind of meaningful but light conversation that makes everyone feel at home, while somehow remaining focused at the tasks at hand of the FOC that he was. 

Gene is one of those quiet, understated guys who did impressive things with his life, from playing serious baseball at Bucknell University and for the U.S. Army Team, to holding senior positions at The Security and Exchange Commission, Arthur Anderson Company, and the Carey Winston Company (which later became Transwestern), he was committed to great service as well as meaningful and hard work.  His wife of 52 years, Ellie, said it best: “He lived his live according to two core principles:  Work hard and always do the right thing.”  This included his devotion to his sons in whose lives he was not only invested emotionally, but with his time as a coach for the MSI soccer and Little League baseball teams, with baseball clearly being his favorite.  

While Gene’s involvement with Samaritan Ministry was in the final five years of his life, it clearly was a central part of his ministry in retirement, along with Iona House – both partners of his parish, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in NW DC, one of Samaritan’s original twelve (founding) disciple congregations.  

In that spirit and as a reflection of Gene’s commitment to Samaritan Ministry, memorial contributions have been invited by his family to Samaritan Ministry in his honor, in lieu of flowers.  To contribute, please write a check to Samaritan Ministry and mail to Samaritan Ministry, 1516 Hamilton Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011.  Please put “In memory of Gene Zartman” in the memo line.  If you wish to make an electronic contribution, use this link:  Again, please indicate “In memory of Gene Zartman” before you finish.      To You, Gene, in your new home in the heavens, we say, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant!”