Author Tom Zink Returns to Northampton from Canada to Read from his Memoir

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NORTHAMPTON—Tom Zink, a longtime Northampton resident, will return from his home in North Bay, Ontario, to read from his new book, Seasoned: A Memoir of Grief and Grace on Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 48 Elm St.

Zink was a member of St. John’s during the 23 years that he and his wife, Beth Hewson, lived in Northampton with their sons, Jesse and Jody. Zink completed a doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1988.

Zink was born in a blizzard in 1947, a child of winter. Seasoned: A Memoir of Grief and Grace is the story of Tom’s unwitting grief journey of five decades that began when his older brother Steve was hit by a car and killed while on the paper route the two boys shared. It’s the story of a con­servative German Lutheran family and the ways in which the parents and surviving children protected each other in loss with a silent acceptance that did not serve them in the long run.

Zink buried his grief along with his brother so he could carry on with his life. His career after high school took him around the world, across the country and back again. It was only after Zink was married and a father of two teenaged sons that, in a moment of profound grace, he realized the depth and importance of his loss. His faith and new-found desire as an adult to process his brother’s death lifted him out of his personal permafrost of grief and took him full circle back to his brother’s grave.

Seasoned is not merely a story of grief and recovery, though. It is also a tender and lighthearted look at humor and laughter, winning and losing, and doubt and faith.

Zink served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia in the late 1960s, and has also been a preschool teacher and director, a child care counselor, a city parks and recreation superintendent, and a New Games trainer.

He worked in public health in the Pioneer Valley for 18 years, and, in 2006, moved to Ontario to work as a tobacco control manager until retiring in 2010.

Proceeds from the sale of Zink’s book will benefit the Stephen A. Zink Scholarship at Steve’s alma mater, Lutheran High School West in Rocky River, Ohio.

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