FRENCH Funerals – Cremations - University
1111 University Boulevard
Albuquerque, NM 87102
More Obituaries for Emil Zeni
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Emil Zeni

Obituary Condolences

Emil Zeni Obituary
Emil Joseph Zeni (Joe Zeni)

Emil Joseph Zeni (Joe Zeni) passed away on January 02, 2018. He was 88 years old. Joe was born in Madrid, NM and spent his preteen years hiking all over the hills between Madrid and Santa Fe. His fondest memories are of Christmas and the wonderful decorations and lights in Madrid. His family moved to Carlsbad, NM where he played high school football and was coached by Ralph Bowyer. After graduating in 1948, Joe attended UNM for a semester. He then decided on Denver University. The Army called in 1953 and he was stationed at Hanford in Washington State. It was there that he met and married Ramona Schumacher. They were married in 1955 and celebrated their 50th anniversary just prior to Ramona's passing. After serving two years in the army, Joe returned to DU where he achieved a BA in physical education. Joe and Ramona moved to Albuquerque in 1955 where he went to work for Iggy Mulcahy at M&W Sporting Goods.

As a salesman for M&W, Joe traveled the state of NM, visiting each school no matter how small or out of the way. During this time, he met every coach, athletic director and superintendent in the entire state. Eventually, Joe purchased M&W and changed the name to "Joe Zeni's M&W Sporting Goods." He sincerely loved his job and like meeting people. In 1988, Joe began holding the Annual Zeni's M&W Coaches Clinic and Steak Fry. Coaches from all over the state met to take part in this clinic. Also in 1988, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the New Mexico High School Coaches Association.

Joe considered making friends the most important thing a person can do. He was teased for knowing everyone in the state of NM. He was noted for retaining lifelong friendships. Twenty eight years after graduating from college, the Denver football team is still meeting for its annual reunion.

In 2011, Joe was stricken with cancer. He lost his left eye to it. He then remained cancer free for 4 years. When the cancer returned, it did so with a vengeance. Joe never complained. Even with his advanced years, he fought a good fight and remained active until just before his death.

Joe is predeceased by his beloved wife and one son. He leaves two sons, a daughter-in-law, one daughter, five grandchildren, one granddaughter-in-law, one grandson-in-law, and eight great-grandchildren. Many of his dear friends predeceased him. He missed them terribly. He leaves a multitude of friends that he never forgot and always spoke fondly about.

Joe had a big heart and had several organizations that he contributed to. St. Jude's, Wounded Warrior, Disabled Veterans, and several animal rescue organizations benefited from Joe's generosity.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the UNM Cancer Center, a facility which treated Joe with kindness and extended his life by at least one year. In the last 10 years he became a devoted animal lover. Donations to the Animal Humane NM, or any of the organizations listed above would make him happy.

A Rosary will be recited Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at FRENCH â€" Wyoming. Friends may visit beginning at 6:00 p.m. A celebratory Mass will take place on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Risen Savior Catholic Community, 7701 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque. A reception will be held at FRENCH â€" Wyoming immediately following the mass. Please visit our online guestbook for Joe at

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jan. 7, 2018
Read More