William R. "Bill" Zelke, 89, of Highland, Ill., born Saturday, Nov. 22, 1924, died Sunday, April 13, 2014, at Highland Health Care Center in Highland, Ill.
Mr. Zelke was born at Omro, Rushford Township, Wis. At age 18 he was drafted, and served with the U.S. Army, active duty from May 27, 1943 to February 25, 1946, during World War II. He lived most of his life in Oshkosh, Wis. He was an over the road truck driver and drove for Olson Trucking, later known as Central Wisconsin Trucking. He headquartered out of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and retired after 40 years. He was a member of the local Teamsters Union for over 40 years. In February 2013, he and his wife Dorothy, moved to Highland, Ill., and lived with their daughter for 10 months. They then moved to the Highland Home in December 2013. He enjoyed boating, fishing, snowmobiling and traveling. He and his wife vacationed to Las Vegas and throughout the United States. And visited their daughter and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy J. Zelke, whom he married Thursday, Dec. 26, 1946, and who died Monday, March 31, 2014; his parents, Adolph and Evelyn , nee Roycraft, Zelke; two brothers, Emmett Zelke and Robert Henry "Bob" Zelke; two sisters, Harriett Zelke and Alda Bauer; and a son-in-law, Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Robert H. "Bob" Barkaus, USAF, who died on Nov. 11, 2008.
Surviving are a daughter, Sherrie A. Barkhaus of Highland, Ill.; a grandson, Scott K. (Erika) Barkhaus of Mascoutah, Ill,; two granddaughters, Staci M. (Joseph) LaPorta of Highland, Ill., and Tami L. (Lt. Col. Rob, USAF Retired) Gilchrest of Fairfax Station, Va.; 10 great-grandchildren, Tyler (Constance) Barkhaus of Valdosta, Ga., Megan (Chris) Bray of Pensacola, Fla., Olivia LaPorta, Alexandra LaPorta, Samuel LaPorta, and Isabella LaPorta, all of Highland, Ill., and Jarrett Gilchrest, Quintin Gilchrest, Spencer Gilchrest, Jaylin Gilchrest, all of Fairfax Station, Va.; and five great-great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the
Visitation: Friends may call from 9 to 10:00 a.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014 at the Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014 at the funeral home with Rev. Kirk Clayton, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Mascoutah, Ill., officiating. Interment will be in Highland City Cemetery, Highland, Ill.
SPENGEL-BOULANGER FUNERAL HOME, Highland, Ill.
Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home
1501 Ninth Highland, IL 62249-0187
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Apr. 16, 2014