Joseph Zele Jr., 87, passed away peacefully on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, following a day filled with his family.
Joe was born Nov. 20, 1926 in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood.
A hard worker from the start, his first jobs included pin setting at a bowling alley and crushing grapes in a winery during high school that lasted until purple feet gave him away. He served his country during WWII with the U.S. Army and later served his community as a Cleveland police officer for ten years. In time, a growing family compelled Joe to open Zele's Bar, a popular gathering spot for many of his friends which he ran successfully for 15 years. Eventually he took a job with the City of Euclid where he also raised his family in a home he built himself with the help of friends. He continued working into his 70's, finishing at J.W. Hardwood Co., where he utilized his jack-of-all trade skills. For many years with his wife Pat, Joe enjoyed many summer weekends at S.N.P.J. Enon Valley in Pennsylvania, reveling in the camaraderie and the polka music. Never one to be idle, he took great pleasure working and helping his friends on their own projects.
Survivors are his nine children with Rosemary (Gauntner), Joe (Lynne), Mike (Terrie), Mary, Jim (Joan), John (Debbie), Ann (Bill) Suman, David, Theresa and Robert;
grandchildren, Josh, Aubrey, Michael, John, Jim, Matt, John, Nick, Greg, Michael Suman, Mark Suman, Joey Suman and Jenna Suman; and brother, John (Donna).
He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia (Jopko; Cesen); grandchild, Kayla; and parents, Joseph Sr. and Frances (DeLost).
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at St. Mary of The Assumption Church, 8560 Mentor Ave., Mentor. Rev. Thomas Elasser will officiate.
Visitation is from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at Zele Funeral Home, 452 East 152 St., Cleveland.
Contributions may be made to the Cleveland Sight Center, 1909 East 101 St., Cleveland, OH 44106 or to the
Zele Funeral Homes
452 E. 152nd Street Cleveland, OH 44110
Published in www.News-Herald.com from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2014