BURLINGTON - Joseph J. Joe Zelenski, 82, died peacefully on March 17, 2014, following a courageous battle with Clippers Syndrome (a rare autoimmune disease) at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Union Grove. He was surrounded by his awesome family. He was born in Burlington on April 12, 1931, to John and Eleanor (Bieneman) Zelenski. He grew up in Brighton and was a graduate of St. Marys High School in Burlington. His first job was bagging groceries at Spiegelhoffs Grocery on Chestnut Street. His relationship with the Spiegelhoff family continued throughout his life and he was a handyman in their stores.\ He was drafted into the US Army in 1951. He served during the Korean War and fought in the battle of Old Baldy. He was wounded in action and received the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged in 1960. Joe met his wife Phyllis Aspinall on a blind date and they married on April 23, 1955, at St. Marys Catholic Church in Burlington. He farmed on Bieneman Road until he began work at the Burlington Post Office in 1959. He became postmaster in 1974 and retired in 1991. He also drove school bus and milk truck for many years. Joe enjoyed fishing in Canada with his boys and yearly trips to Hayward with his family. He was an avid golfer and bowled for many years in the Knights of Columbus league at Towne and Country Lanes. He served as financial secretary for the local Knights of Columbus and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. Joseph was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother Loretta; mother- and father-in-law Glenn and Edith Aspinall; sister Elizabeth (William) Weis; brother Michael (Phyllis) Zelenski; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Alice and Herbert Grossheusch; sisters-in-law Virginia (Richard) Zelenski and Patricia (Jerome) Helding; and brother-in-law Robert Aspinall. He is survived by his wife of nearly 59 years; brothers Robert (MaryAnn) and Richard (Audriene); sister-in-law Mary Aspinall; and children: David (Nina) of Friendship; Daniel (Barbara); James (Rochelle); Karen (Eugene) Stevens and Susan (Michael) Lange, of Burlington. He is further survived by his grandchildren Peter and Mark Zelenski, Ryan (Kristin) Zelenski, Jennifer (Kenneth) DeGroot, Christopher (Jessica) Hartlage, Stephanie Malom, Kaytlyn Zelenski (Michael Mack), Carly (Craig) Kreuscher, Josephine Stevens and Lauren Lange. Great-grandchildren Cody and Austin Kreuscher, Joely Malom, Morgan Kreuscher, Landon DeGroot, Riley Zelenski and Ava Hartlage; and many other relatives and friends. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 25, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Marys Catholic Church, Burlington. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at Schuette-Daniels Funeral Home, Burlington, on Monday, March 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Interment will be at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Wisconsin Veterans Home, Union Grove; Mayo Clinic Clipper Research (mayoclinic.org) or a
. Special thanks to Dr. Webber and Dr. Khatri. Also thanks to Dr. Demers, Chris Tondi and the entire staff at the Wisconsin Veterans Home for their caring and compassionate care and all the friends and neighbors who were always there for him. Schuette-Daniels Funeral Home & Crematory 625 S. Browns Lake Drive Burlington, WI 53105 (262) 763-3434 www.danielsfamilyfuneral.com
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Schuette-Daniels Funeral Home
625 S. Browns Lake Dr. Burlington, WI 53105
Published in Racine Journal Times on Mar. 20, 2014