Roy H. Zemla of Hamburg, a retired surveyor and World War II veteran, died Thursday in Nazareth Nursing Home after a short illness. He was 85.
A native of the Town of Boston, he enlisted in the Marines in 1942 and served two years in Guadalcanal during WWII. He re-enlisted for two more years and served in occupied Japan, reaching the rank of master technical sergeant, and was honorably discharged in 1946.
He worked for 32 years for the state as a stratigraphical surveyor and invented the "Z Gauge," which is used in taking test borings.
After retiring, Mr. Zemla continued his activity in the Boy Scouts. In 1981, he earned Scouting's highest honor, the Silver Beaver Award, which is presented for distinguished service to young people.
He was a member of Armor Volunteer Fire Department for 56 years. In 1989, he was recognized as Fireman of the Year.
Mr. Zemla enjoyed the outdoors and shared many travel adventures with his longtime companion, Lucile Newton of Hamburg.
His wife of 36 years, the former Sally Uglik, died in 1982.
Survivors include two daughters, Diane of Rochester and Lois Findlay of Burlington, Vt.; two sons, Paul and James, both of Hamburg; and eight grandchildren.
A remembrance celebration is planned for next summer.