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Published: Wednesday, 7/11/2007

2 workers killed on jobs were strong family men

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Family members of the two construction workers killed Monday in industrial accidents said both men loved going to work.

Tommy Zunk, 51, of Fremont, an 18-year employee of the Mosser Construction Co., died when a counterweight fell from a crane and crushed him at Toledo's Bay View Wastewater Treatment Plant construction site, 3900 North Summit St.

Walter Minarik, 50, of Perrysburg, known to many as Joe, became pinned between counterweights and the rear of the crane as the machine turned. He was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where he died.

It was Mr. Minarik's first day of work at the Westfield Elementary School construction site on Western Avenue in South Toledo.

Danielle Zunk said her father had a passion for his work and was "very good at what he did."

He loved his wife and daughters more than anything in the world, and his daughter said Mr. Zunk made sure his family knew.

"He was an amazing, amazing man," Ms. Zunk of Columbus said while at her family's home in Fremont. "Anybody you talked to would say the exact same thing."

Mr. Zunk and his wife, Tammy, were married for more than 30 years and their love for one another was unconditional, Ms. Zunk said.

"They would still walk through the mall holding hands," she said. "I don't think you see that every day."

Monday's tragedy was very unexpected and Ms. Zunk said the family is taking everything one day at a time.

"One minute they're fine, the next minute they're crying," the 28-year-old said. "Our goal is to wake up in the morning."

Chuck Moyer, executive vice president of Mosser, said Mr. Zunk was an employee who went out of his way to talk to people and make sure they had a good day.

Mr. Moyer said the veteran construction worker was always smiling.

"When they're happy at work, you know they must be happy with their job," Mr. Moyer said.

Walter Minarik, Jr., said his son, who worked in construction for more than 25 years, was born an ironworker.

"He was a rugged individual, like a mountain man," his father said.

Mr. Minarik, Jr. said his son helped him repair a tractor last week, which wasn't uncommon. He "would bend over backwards for anybody," Mr. Minarik, Jr. said.

Mr. Minarik loved to entertain people by singing karaoke. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

"Everybody that knew him really enjoyed him," Mr. Minarik, Jr. said.

The Toledo area office of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is continuing its investigation to determine how the fatal accidents occurred.

Mosser employees are expected to return to work today, while the Westfield Elementary School project site will remain closed.

Contact Laren Weber at:

lweber@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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