Joel died on March 10, 2014 in Colorado Springs. He had struggled with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, for almost five years. He had excellent medical care which allowed him and his wife, Jan, to be active travelers and pursue lots of interests during this time.
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Joel was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 21, 1942 to Henry Zellmer and Margaret Zellmer (Harshberger). He is survived by his wife Jan, son Dan (Jennifer) and four grandchildren (Tyler, Annalise, Grace, Natalie), daughter Katie Hastings (Mike), brother Dale (Claudia), and nephew Brian (Kristy).
He went to Johnson High School in St. Paul and from an early age was interested in science, engineering, and amateur radio. He attended Hamline University and the University of Minnesota graduating with a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1966. That July he packed his Ford sedan with all of his possessions and drove to Colorado Springs to start a career with Hewlett Packard. Not many months later he met his wife, Jan, also a Minnesota native, while ice-skating at the old Broadmoor World Arena. They celebrated their 45th anniversary in June.
He enjoyed his 36-year career at Hewlett Packard-Agilent and contributed to a number of key projects. He started out by designing a 500 MHz active oscilloscope probe based on a hybrid thin film circuit. Then he moved into pulse generators, designing a family of pulsers based on integrated circuits. During this time, Joel and Jan moved to Germany for several years to finish the design of these products. This was an especially enjoyable assignment with a lot of travel and new lifelong friends. Returning to Colorado Springs he designed and managed the development of logic analyzers and emulators. In his last several years he managed a great group of manufacturing and test development engineers. He was granted three patents during his career.
Joel was always interested in numerous hobbies. After retiring in 2002, Joel picked up a new activity, playing the bass clarinet for the New Horizons Gold Band. He also played golf with band members and former colleagues, flew his RC model airplanes, traveled the world with Jan, and enjoyed the Colorado mountains.
A memorial service will be held at Ascension Lutheran Church on March 24 at 10:30 AM. Contributions can be given in Joel's name to the church, which was such an important part of his life (the Ascension Lutheran endowment fund) or to the Pikes Peak Hospice. An additional memorial service will be held in Minnesota in April, details to be determined.
Published in The Gazette on Mar. 16, 2014