Dorota Z. Zak, 66, Green Bay, died Thursday, February 27, 2014, at home after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dora was born on May 15, 1947, in Klodzko, Poland, to Jan and Maria (Widla) Wypych. She attended Wroclaw Music Academy, where she earned a Master's Degree in Music Education.
Dorota and Janusz Zak married on March 30, 1969. Together they traveled extensively as part of their professional musical activities. Dora quickly gained a reputation as an outstanding singer and pedagogue. She traveled and sang for the well-known choir Cantores Minores Vratislaviensis. She then went on professional tour throughout Poland and Germany. Dora maintained a household and family during martial law and what was a difficult political and socioeconomic climate in Poland. She was able, along with son Matt, to join her husband in West Germany, where the family lived for nearly two years.
Dorota moved with her family to the United States on April 26, 1985. She settled in Green Bay, where the couple eventually opened Zak Music Studio in their home on the city's southwest side. Dora taught piano, classical guitar, and violin. Her influence was far-reaching and infectious, teaching countless small fingers to play, and sharing her love of music. She also taught at UWGB, and performed with the Zak String Quartet. Dorota authored an original method for learning Classical Guitar.
After moving to the US, Dora and her family continued the passion for the outdoors that developed in her early youth. She was an avid hiker, and enjoyed camping, kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Dora also loved animals, as well as reading. Those two interests were combined in her authorship of Adventures of Zombie: The Dog With a Big Heart, a book about the unique attributes of her dog Zombie, who was with her family from the summer of 1992 until Christmas of 2005.
Since becoming ill, Dora showed true fighting spirit, determination, and grace. She was able to add to her already staggering resume of travels throughout the US, as well as excursions to the British Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and Galapagos Islands, to name a few. She also published another book, a collection of poems titled Byc (trans: To Be).
She is survived by her husband, Janusz and a son, Matt. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A civic memorial gathering to celebrate Dorota's life is planned on March 9 at 1pm at Blaney Funeral Home, 1521 Shawano Ave. Online condolences may be expressed at www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
Blaney Funeral Home
1521 Shawano Ave.
Green Bay, WI 54303
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Mar. 2, 2014