Thursday, March 17, 2005
Harry Zerbo, Livonia: Longtime advocate of healthy living, eating
Long before the explosion of health foods stores and juice bars, Harry Zerbo was teaching Metro Detroiters the importanceof taking vitamins and eating healthy.
Mr. Zerbo opened his health food store, Zerbo Health Foods, in 1958 on Plymouth Road in Livonia, where he taught people how to live healthier lives.
"He really cared about people," said his daughter, Clara Zerbo. "Everybody was always in his presence. He didn't have a mean bone in his body."
Mr. Zerbo died Tuesday, March 15, 2005, from complications of Parkinson's disease in his Livonia home. He was 88.
A second-generation gardener, Mr. Zerbo studied the relationship between herbs, nutrition and healthy living.
"He was interested in the biochemistry of the body," his daughter said. "As he got more and more into nutrition and gardening, he was inclined to go organic. It just made sense."
Over the years, Mr. Zerbo expanded his store three times to its current 11,000 square feet and now it boasts a juice and salad bar. Mr. Zerbo retired from the store five years ago. His grandson, Ryan Adams, now runs the business.
He also appeared on numerous talk shows to talk about health foods and also wrote articles for various health food books.
Clara Zerbo said her father's healthy regimen and eating served him well. "He still had a great spirit and appetite," she said. "He still had girlfriends and was still telling jokes."
Survivors include two daughters, Clara and Linda; his two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation is 3-9 p.m. today and noon to 9 p.m. Friday at R.G. & G. R. Harris Funeral Home, 15451 Farmington Road in Livonia.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Livonia Unity Church, 28660 Five Mile in Livonia. The family hour will be held an hour before the beginning of the memorial service.
His body will be cremated.
Memorials may be made to the Eckankar Religion P.O. Box, 27300, Minneapolis, MN 55427.