Published 1:30 pm Monday, June 6, 2016
Bill Zeiss, 48, died surrounded by his family on June 1, 2016, due to injuries sustained in an accident.
He was born in Largo, Fla., on March 11, 1968, to the late Elizabeth Griffin Zeiss and F. Ralph Zeiss Jr. He was a gentle man of integrity and character with a servant’s heart and a quick wit.
Bill grew up in Florida with his three siblings Kate, Mike, and Jennifer. He loved the ocean and taught himself to surf during summers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He attended the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., where he met life-long friends, Tim Nichols and Jake “Moose” Bramhall. He was a proud alum of the University of Florida in Gainesville and a brother in Kappa Sigma fraternity, where he made other life-long friendships, especially with Roger and MaryAnne Steinberg. He graduated in 1990 and joined Videofonics, a film and video production company in Raleigh. He was proud to spend his career doing work that he loved. Through his work he met Tracy Smith, who would become his wife. They quickly realized they had a shared love of travel, good restaurants, and Saturday Night Live. They celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2015 with a large party given by Tracy’s parents.His greatest happiness was his daughter Sophie Catherine. They created many traditions together, especially making drip-drop castles on the beach, playing miniature golf, taking annual back-to-school trips to Emerald Point and the NC Zoo, and attending Father/Daughter Valentine’s Dances. A friend recently said that Bill loved to check out new restaurants but that he made sure others didn’t go hungry. At St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, he was active in many ministries, but the one closest to his heart was hunger relief. He led a team of cooks who made monthly meals that fed the bodies and souls of folks throughout the community, especially those in recovery. He served the church’s Backpack Buddies ministry by buying food, packing bags, and delivering backpacks to food-insecure children in Wake County schools.
Survivors: his wife and daughter; his father, F. Ralph Zeiss Jr. and wife Cynthia; sister, Kate Zeiss; brother, Mike Zeiss and wife Pat Matteson; sister Jennifer Keith; brother-in-law, Ed Keith; nieces Hannah and Carson Keith; in-laws Rommie and Cathy Barney; his wife’s grandmother, Anna Lee Myers; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family.
He was predeceased by his mother; his Papa and Nana, Dr. Fred R. Zeiss and Hazel Zeiss; his stepmother Kathleen Zeiss; and his wife’s grandfather, Edd Myers.
A memorial service will take place soon.
Memorials: to support the hunger-relief activities of St. Mark’s UMC or to off-set the cost of medical expenses for the family: St. Mark’s UMC, 4801 Six Forks Rd., Raleigh, 27609.