Joseph E. Zeis, 92, a retired D.C. firefighter, died Oct. 2 of chronic breathing difficulties at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.
He was a longtime Silver Spring resident.
Mr. Zeis, a third-generation Washingtonian, graduated from McKinley Technical High School in 1931 and went to work for
National Peanuts. He was in sales and then a manager in the store at 15th Street and New York Avenue NW in Washington and
also in Norfolk.
After working briefly as a stock clerk at Natalie's, a children's dress store, he took the civil service examination and became a
D.C. firefighter in 1938. He retired in 1974 as deputy fire chief in charge of the training division.
He sang tenor in the fire department quartet and in retirement sang in a number of choirs, most recently the choir of St. Luke
Lutheran Church. He was active in the Silver Spring Kiwanis Club and was honored as a Hixson fellow. He also was a member
of the Association of Oldest Inhabitants and of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Dorothea L. Zeis of Silver Spring; a son, Col. Joseph E. Zeis Jr. of Eglin Air Force Base,
Fla.; and a granddaughter.