Published in the August 8, 2017 edition.

WAKEFIELD — Zynek J. “Joe” Zagaja, 97, a lifelong resident of Wakefield, died Monday morning at the Carlton Willard Nursing Facility of Bedford.

Born in Wakefield on November 18, 1919, he was the son of the late Joseph and Waleria (Gorska) Zagaja.

Joe was a graduate of Wakefield High School, Class of 1937. He served in the Army during World War II. He received a citation from Major General Alexander A. Vandergrift, U.S.M.C., for his outstanding gallantry and determination in successfully executing forced landing assaults against a number of strongly defended Japanese positions on Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, Florida, Guadalcanal, and the British Solomon Islands, completely routing all the enemy forces and seizing valuable base and air fields within the enemies zone of operations in the South Pacific Ocean.

Joe was a retired draftsmen for GCA Corporation of Andover.

Joe was the uncle of Ronald and Paul Zagaja, Dianne Hickman, Florence Nadeau and Marilyn Sasso. He was the brother-in-law of Gladys Zagaja. Joe was the brother of the late Edward, Emil, Mary and Mitchell Zagaja.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Florence Church, 47 Butler Ave., Wakefield on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Wednesday prior to the mass from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Interment, Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.