Eric Zelder, long-time Kalamazoo resident, died June 27, 2020 at the age of 64. Eric was born April 10, 1956 in Rochester, NY, and also lived in Palo Alto, CA and Hinsdale, IL prior to moving to Kalamazoo in 1964, where he resided until his death. He was a graduate of Loy Norrix High School (1976) and Western Michigan University (1983), where he received a degree in history. Eric surmounted a litany of medical challenges throughout his life, including major neurosurgeries beginning in 1963, and a host of complications after that including epilepsy and diabetes. Throughout the unrelenting difficulties he faced, he was a person of exceptional optimism and determination. He was active in political causes, and was selected to serve as Republican delegate to a number of state and county conventions. For many years he was a devoted participant in walks sponsored by the March of Dimes, in several years receiving the Walk America award for his enormous success in soliciting donations. He attended Young Life camps in Colorado and New York, where he took part in parasailing excursions. He was an avid and passionate musician who performed in music therapy recitals at Western Michigan University, with Common Sounds at the People's Church, and at the annual Dulcimer Funfest in Evart, MI. He was a voracious reader, particularly of 20th Century history including World War II, but also including accounts of cherished historical figures such as Joan of Arc. He also loved the Chicago Cubs. Eric is preceded in death by his parents Ray and Joanne Zelder, and is survived by his younger brother Martin Zelder and his sister-in-law Laura Hans, nieces Amelia McLean and Linda Huber, and nephew Matthew Huber. A memorial service will be held Saturday April 9 at 3 pm at the People's Church, 1758 10th St. N, Kalamazoo, MI, followed by a reception and casual dinner at Comensoli's Italian Bistro, 762 W. Main St., Kalamazoo, MI. All who cared about Eric are strongly encouraged to attend.