Val Frederick Zahler was born on July 10th, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Frederick Herman and Pearl Strange Zahler. He passed away on April 1st, 2021.
The 1930’s and 40’s were happy years for Val as he lived with his older sister, Fae, and their parents on Claybourne Avenue until his dad got a job at the Lark Mine as an Electrical Engineer. Val belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was ordained an Elder before graduating High School. With the help of his mom, dad, and his scout leader Clyde Krump he earned his Eagle Scout Award.
In June of 1945, he graduated from the old Bingham High School. Five days after graduation he went into the Navy and was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. For 18 months he worked as a Yeoman at the Disciplinary Barracks on the Base, typing dishonorable discharges. At this point, the war was in full swing, but because of his typing skills he never saw combat. When the war ended, Val went to Utah State University and studied Forestry before he decided to major in Industrial Arts. While attending Utah State University, he met and fell in love with the beautiful, spunky Wanda Nelson. Val and Wanda were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 10, 1948. When Val graduated, they moved to Wendover, Utah where he taught Industrial Arts and Science.
After leaving Wendover, they went to Payson, Utah, and lived there for a year until they moved to Salt Lake City. In Salt Lake, Val found a job teaching Industrial Arts in the Granite School District. He taught at Evergreen Jr. High, Wasatch Jr. High, Kearns High, and Eisenhower Jr. High. In 1964 he earned his Master’s Degree in Industrial Arts at Brigham Young University. For much of his life, Val taught woodshop and was a very skilled craftsman. He loved teaching and was admired by many students. His family would joke that his well made pieces were “Zahler Built.” Along with teaching, Val had a love for steam engine locomotives which started early in his life. He was especially fond of the “Big Boy” locomotive. He was also interested in cameras and had been since he was a little boy. So with his camera in hand, he took a pictorial history of our family and his life, always commenting that it was “for posterity.” He belonged to a camera club and took many trips with them, photographing Southern Utah.
Freddy, as his children called him, was a perfect gentleman and always had his best foot forward. He took loving care of our mother for many, many years through her health challenges. Val loved to say, “I have a great family.”
Val is survived by his son, Mark (Tracy) Zahler; daughters, Robyn (Max) Berry, and Julie (Karl) Otteson, five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. Val was preceded in death by his loving wife, Wanda, both parents, and his sister.
We would like to thank Karl and Julie Otteson for their tender loving care of Val during the last three months of his life.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday April 7th, from 10:30 – 11:45a.m. at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 South State St., Murray, with a graveside service at the Murray City Cemetery at 12:00 p.m.