Rob Zanath


In a letter received at the SMART Transportation Division headquarters, Rob Zanath’s family wrote:

“To all the SMART Union Members,

            “We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for all of the love and support you have shown our family during this very difficult time. Words cannot express how grateful we are for your kindness and compassion over the past few months since Rob’s passing.  Rob was blessed to have been a part of such a caring and giving community for the past 24 years. Your overwhelming generosity of monetary donations given to our family at this year’s regional meetings was most appreciated. We will continue to pray for all of you and ask you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we begin to move forward and be at peace as we cherish the memory of a loving, caring husband, father, and son and are comforted by the fact that Rob now resides in the peace and happiness of heaven.

            “The Family of Robert Zanath”

Rob Zanath worked in the Public Relations department for UTU and then SMART Transportation Division for the past 24 years. Zanath died in May 2015.

Rob Zanath


Robert J. Zanath, 50, died May 28 at University Hospitals of a brain aneurysm. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.

Zanath was born Sept. 10, 1964. After graduating from Padua Franciscan High School in Parma, Ohio, he attended Kent State University and then graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications.

Following college he worked at Ponderosa restaurant until he hired out with the United Transportation Union as the webpage designer October 8, 1990. Over the past couple of years Zanath took over as the head of the Public Relations Department of the SMART Transportation Division. Zanath was very dedicated to the union and its publications, often staying late to work on and finish projects. Zanath was a laid back, levelheaded supervisor with an unsurpassed knowledge of the inter-workings of the union. He will be missed by not only the PR department in which he worked, but by everyone who knew him.

Zanath was a devout Catholic, who tried to never miss church, even when out-of-town at regional meetings and conventions. He was a member of St. Columbkille Church of Parma, Ohio. He enjoyed the music of Van Halen and many other rock bands.  He loved the Cleveland Browns and was a huge Cleveland sports enthusiast. He enjoyed the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as anything pertaining to James Bond films. Although he was dedicated to his job, he was just as dedicated to leading a good moral life for himself, his entire family and to God. He was a devoted father and husband.

“He was thrilled when John (Zanath’s son) came along,” Retired Public Relations Assistant Eric Eakin said. “He loved his family, he loved his parents and talked to them all the time.”

Surviving Zanath are his wife Lynn, their two children Holly and John, parents Jack and Carole, brother Tom and his wife Debbie, Goddaughter and Niece Erica, parents-in-law Anthony and Frances Grabowski.

Visitation is to be held Sunday, May 31 at Fortuna Funeral Home, 7076 Brecksville Rd., Independence, Ohio from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Prayers are to be held at the funeral home on Monday, June 1 at 9:00 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Columbkille Church at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at All Saints Cemetery.

Click here to view Zanath’s obituary or to leave condolences for the family.