Obituary of Michael Zuberec
B. ARCH., O.A.A., F.R.A.I.C.
Born Montreal, October 8, 1930
Died St. Catharines, September 28, 2022
Michael was the only son of Eman and Anna Zuberec (nee Balko).
Mike was a graduate of the St. Catharines Collegiate class of 1949, where he excelled at football and as a track and field sprint champion in the 100 and 220 yard dash. He studied Architecture at the University of Toronto graduating in 1954.
Post-graduation he was employed by the Niagara architectural firm Nicholson and Macbeth. In 1955 he moved to London, England to work for Yorke Rosenberg Mardall (YRM). During his 2-year stint with YRM, he convinced the senior partner Mr. Rosenberg to allow him time off to travel through Europe by scooter and visit his relatives in Slovakia which was then under communist rule. It is said that cigars and klobása helped support his case. In 1957 he returned to St. Catharines and joined his Collegiate and U of T alumnus Norman Macdonald at Thomas R. Wiley & Associates. In 1959, he and Norman purchased the firm from the Wiley estate and founded Macdonald and Zuberec Architects.
His firm, known to his family as “The Office”, was his vocation. Until February 2022, he was working and spec’ing jobs. Many examples of his work can be found throughout the Niagara Peninsula and beyond - Rainbow Bridge Plaza, Brock University Inniskillin Hall, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Center for Conservation at Ball’s Falls, St. Lawrence Seaway Administration Facility, Château des Charmes Winery, hospitals, public works buildings and many Niagara Region schools including Denis Morris High School and the addition to his alma mater the Collegiate.
Mike was one of the last of his generation of mid-century modern architects who strove to maintain clean lines, unfussy elements, and employ natural materials that would benefit not only the clients and intended users but fit within the environment. He was respected equally by clients, architects, engineers, trades and contractors. Trust, accountability and responsibility were integral aspects of his work practice. He was a founder of the Niagara Society of Architects, continually active with the Ontario Association of Architects, serving on various boards through 64 years of membership, Vice President of the Niagara Construction Association and Chairman of the board of Rodman Hall Art Centre. In recent years he could be seen walking throughout the city documenting historic buildings for the St. Catharines Museum.
If architecture was his vocation, then sailing was his passion. On most weekends, he could be found on L’ Anonyme - his Shark 24 #577 - sailing out of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club.
He was the epitome of integrity, dedication and ethics, which were rooted in his faith.
He will be remembered for his humour, wit, trademark bow ties, and walking home every day to have lunch with his loving wife of 62 years, Mary (nee Kacuryak).
Nothing made him happier than having his family gathered. He is remembered in the hearts of his wife, his children, Christopher (Janet), Stephan (Charmaine), Philip and Sarah (Tim) and grandchildren, Emily, Celia, Matthew, Christopher, Alexander and Elizabeth.
Visitation will be held at the Patrick J. Darte Funeral Chapel, October 10, 2022, 2-4pm & 7-9pm.
Funeral mass at the Cathedral of St. Catherine, October 11, 2022, 10 am.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Zuberec, please visit Tribute Store