In Loving Memory
Rebecca Sue Zallek passed away in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday, November 27th after an ongoing battle with brain cancer. She was 48. Becky is survived by Michael Susanin, her husband of seven years, mother Sandra Zallek, brother Chris Zallek (Sarah), sister JoAnne Zallek (Dave Champion) as well as six nieces and four nephews. Preceding her in death was her father Carl Zallek.
Becky worked in the financial and insurance industries in multiple roles including agent, customer representative, claims analyst, technical writer, project and business analyst, and systems training developer. In the disc golf world, Becky was better known for her extremely outgoing personality and “can do” attitude. For those who had the fortune of knowing Becky, just being around her was enough to put a smile on your face. She was a true ambassador for the sport of disc golf, but more importantly, a friend to all in the disc golf community.
Many central Iowa disc golfers' first exposure to the sport was via Becky and she was proud to see that these disc golfers' children are now participating in the sport. Her efforts were instrumental in the installation of several disc golf courses and winning the bid for Des Moines to host the 2004 Pro/Am PDGA World Championships, where she acted as Co-Tournament Director. The Professional Disc Golf Association has bestowed to her awards for Services to the PGDA and the Sport, Volunteer of the Year, Tournament Director of the Year and a shared Honored Sportswoman award.
In 2013 at the Professional World Championships in Crown Point, IN, Becky was inducted into the Disc Golf Hall of Fame. Her plaque, which resides in the HOF at the International Disc Golf Center in Appling, GA, reads: “Becky Zallek’s infectious smile and bubbly personality is known in the countless places she has played and promoted disc golf. Her exemplary organizational and fundraising skills have spearheaded the growth of disc golf in central Iowa… Becky has shown so many how to give back to the disc golf community.”
PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham shared a unique story: “Becky and I were both finalists for the Executive Director job with the PDGA in 2007. In my final interview with the selection committee, I told them that I wanted the job but if I did not get it that I would be content knowing that Becky Zallek would do a great job for the PDGA and that she would receive my full support. That was probably not the smartest thing for a candidate to say in a job interview but Becky was the one person in the sport that I would have said that about…as I have only the utmost respect and admiration for her. She will be dearly missed. “
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines in support of the Becky Zallek Juniors Disc Golf Tournament. Online condolences are welcome at IlesCares.com. A Celebration of Life is planned as envisioned by Becky.
Read more here: Rebecca Sue Zallek Obituary.