SunBird Personalities – November 2014

Sharon and Ozzie Zubchevich

Sharon and Ozzie Zubchevich

Bob Neuman

To capture lightning in a bottle would be a simpler task than to document the lives of Sharon and Ozzie Zubchevich, an intriguing couple, in the limited space allotted.

Sharon’s background is Lithuanian and her ancestors were royalty. Once while attending mass, Russians on horseback rode up the center aisle, decapitated the priest and killed all family members except two daughters. One, a baroness, was to become Sharon’s grandmother. A regal portrait hangs in the Zubchevich home.

Ozzie’s origin is Yugoslavian. His mother was Scotch-Irish. They settled in Chicago, as did Sharon and family. Ozzie’s brother, 13, died in an automobile accident, and the father was called to identify the body. “After that,” Ozzie said, “his friends told me that he was never the same until his death at 64.”

After four years of USAF, some in Korea as a staff sergeant, Ozzie returned to Bradley University to receive a B.S. degree in Speech and Hearing. He served as Pathologist Director for Cardiac and Stroke Rehabilitation in numerous hospitals throughout the country, at times operating his own clinic. Ozzie supports prayer in treatment because it calms and focuses the patient. Once he treated the mother of Jamie Farr (Klinger on Mash) and had several conversations with the actor.

He taught at Arkansas State University, was on the city council in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and now is literally a full time substitute teacher for Chandler Schools. “I love teaching, especially history. Did you know 55,000 US military were killed in Korea?”

Ozzie was born during the Great Depression; Sharon during the early WWII years. They connected in Chicago and married on April 1, 1967 after she had been an air stewardess for only three weeks. “Married women could not work that position then,” she explained. Their four sons and families live in Arizona, North Carolina and California. There are also grandchildren and one great-grandchild. One son is married to actress and hostess, Nancy O’Dell, who is anchor for Entertainment Tonight.

Sharon once owned and operated Little Red School House pre-school in Arkansas, owned Country Parsonage Christian Gift Store, began as teller and rose to bank manager and worked in the fraud department, and assisted an oral surgeon. She holds an associate degree.

Having moved 23 times in 35 years, “We loved Hawaii, Denver, Arkansas, and California.” Interests are being grandparents, Tai Chi, exercising, traveling and fishing. They came to Arizona to be near family.

In 1985, Ozzie had a stroke which left him with one impairment – he could not speak. Having assisted countless others to do so, he considers it ironic. “I could hear everything but could not talk.”

He gives Sharon credit for his restoration in the midst of his depression after medical experts had given up; later came a triple bypass and recently a stint.

In May 2014 Ozzie had a second stroke but is recovering well with Sharon’s care, as they rely on the Lord for complete healing.