Quassy Ride Superintendent George Zonas Has Died

By | November 22, 2017

MIDDLEBURY, Conn. – George Zonas, ride superintendent and training officer at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark here, has died following a lengthy illness.

The Waterbury, Conn., native came to work at Quassy in 2000 following his1999 retirement as an international customer service representative and traffic manager for Black & Decker’s Pop Fasteners Division in Shelton, Conn.

His illness forced him to step down during the 2017 season at the family-owned park.

“George came to the park shortly after he retired from Black & Decker, looking to fill some time,” recalled George Frantzis II, a park owner who worked closely with Zonas throughout the years. “Little did I know that this would the beginning of a great friendship. George was the type of man that cared for others before himself and never showed defeat, even to his last day on July 5th. He always inspired me with the spring in his step and smile on his face. We will greatly miss his upbeat charm and inner beauty.”

In 2015, he was presented with the Alan E. Ramsay Safety Award from the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA). The accolade recognizes “an unparalleled commitment to safety in the amusement parks and attractions industry.” Ramsay, a NEAAPA past president and Hall of Fame member, was a certified risk evaluator and developed training materials for amusement rides and devices throughout the world before his untimely death in 2011 at age 41.

During his nearly two decades at Quassy, Zonas trained hundreds of ride operators and started with an introduction speech that led off with the phrase: “this is show business.”

“Everybody who lived locally came here as a youngster, including myself. It was part of the rite of passage,” he said in a 2006 interview for a story about his vital role at the landmark property.