Michael Charles Zelenski
1945 - 2014
Michael Charles Zelenski, 68, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, February 27, 2014, surrounded by loving family.
He succumbed to plasma cell leukemia, an aggressive development of the multiple myeloma he battled in recent years.
Michael was born in Burlington on Nov. 27, 1945, to the late John Michael and Loretta (nee: Bieneman) Zelenski. A 1963 graduate of St. Marys Catholic High School, he went on to attend Dominican College. Academically gifted, Mike received a full scholarship under the National Defense Educational Act for graduate school at Notre Dame University, but interrupted his studies in February 1969 to fill in as a replacement English teacher at St. Catherines High School. This fateful choice began a lifelong career as a well-respected educator that continued at SCHS until 2012 when his health began to decline.
On a very snowy Dec. 28, 1968, he was united in marriage with the love of his life, Phyllis Evelyn (nee: Feider) Zelenski at St. Wendel Catholic Church in Cleveland, Wis. His adult life was marked by various pursuits that combined eccentric sensibilities, vivid communication skills, and uncommon common sense. He was active in Racine Theater Guild, the Lakeside Players at Rhode Opera House, and the WGTD Radio Theater. With a deep Christian faith, Mike was an active member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church where he served as a lector and Eucharistic minister.
Surviving are his loving wife of 45 years, Phyllis; their children, John Michael (Cheryl Harasymchuk) Zelenski, William Christopher (April) Zelenski and Paul Robert (Amy Smith) Zelenski; brothers, Robert (MaryAnn) Zelenski, Joseph (Phyllis) Zelenski and Richard (Audriene) Zelenski; mother-in-law, Lucille Feider; brothers-in-law, William Weis, Dr. Robert (Margaret) Feider, Dr. Dennis (Barbara) Feider and Dr. Bruce (Roxanne) Feider; sisters-in-law, Carol (Richard) Gross and Mary Beth Feider; other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, Mike was preceded in death by his sister, Elizabeth Weis; sister-in-law, Virginia Zelenski; father-in-law, Dr. Arnold Feider; brother-in-law, Arnold Feider; and nephew, Joe Feider.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 6400 Spring Street, on Friday, March 7, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. with Rev. Bill Dietzler, Rev. Terry Huebner and Rev. Mark Jones officiating. A reception will follow. Visitation will be in the funeral home on Thursday from 4 8 p.m. and in the church Friday from 10 11:30 am. Memorials may be directed to your choice of charities or organizations that represent Mikes life and loves. Recently he was fond of the International Crane Foundation and Heifer International.
Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home & Crematory
4600 County Line Rd.
(corner of KR & 22nd Avenue)