A life of service and discipline

China Daily
Yao Jianing
Zhou Zhifu, the late army officer, reads a newspaper in a garden at the sanatorium where he spent his post-retirement life. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The late army officer Zhou Zhifu survived the horrors of war to become a model Party member.

Zhou Zhifu, the late army officer, set an example by staying loyal to the Party his entire life, and by exercising strict self-discipline and retaining his philosophy of hard work and plain living from the arduous wartime era to the current times of peace and plenty.

Before his retirement in 1982, Zhou was a deputy political commissar at a military hospital for the Second Artillery Corps. He died on March 28 in Beijing's Haidian district.

The sanatorium, a gray building extending to 18 floors, accommodates many retired cadres from the Chinese army and their families.

In one of the rooms of his apartment, a large poster still hangs on the wall, which reads "Happy birthday old cadre Zhou Zhifu".

The poster contained snapshots of staff members from the sanatorium joining Zhou to celebrate his 90th birthday on Dec 28, 2014.

"My father was loathed to throw away the poster, which is too big to be stored," says his second daughter, Zhou Weiping. "He cherished each honor the Party gave him, no matter how big or small."

The rows of medals that once adorned his uniform were placed in red boxes after his death.

"For him, these medals stand for the glory he won at the risk of his and his comrades' lives. That's why he cherished them so much," says Zhou Zhifu's 96-year-old wife Lou Shuzhen.

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