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Michael C. Zee of Pitman, NJ, died on January 25, 2023 at Cooper University Hospital. He is survived by his daughter, Kristina Zee, and his son, Joshua Rowe. He is further survived by his mother, Patricia Young, father, Douglas Zee, his sisters Kay (Hutchinson) and Laurie (Rambo), and his brothers Doug Jr. and Ted, numerous nieces and nephews, and many loyal friends.

Michael was born in Elmer, NJ on October 29, 1966. Like the previous three generations of his family, he was a fruit farmer involved with myriad aspects of the eponymous Zee Orchards, spreading over 600 acres in South Jersey. The ubiquitous jerZee Fresh fruit boxes are mementos of his and his family’s contributions to the area. A well-read and educated man, he was passionate about history. He developed a lifelong interest in collecting World War II memorabilia after living in Germany with his friend Dirk, a homestay student who lived with his family in Pitman in 1983.    

He was most at home alone with his thoughts whether on the open road as a truck driver or surrounded by nature. That said, he may be remembered most for his love of hunting, with camo often making an appearance in his outfits even out of season. It is only appropriate that his love of Germany, hunting, and reading would be reflected in a work by German author Goethe. The poem, titled Wanderer’s Nightsong (Wanderers Nachtlied), was aptly scrawled by the author on the walls of a gamekeeper’s lodge in 1780. 

O'er all the hilltops

Is quiet now,

In all the treetops

Hearest thou

Hardly a breath;

The birds are asleep in the trees:

Wait, soon like these

Thou too shalt rest.

Rest easy, Michael.

A memorial service will be held at the Richwood UMC Fellowship Hall on February 4, 2023, at 3:00pm, 111 Richwood Rd, Richwood NJ 08074. All are welcome.

Fertig Funeral Home

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