Josephine Zielke

March 16, 1930November 12, 2020

Josephine Ann Zielke, 90, passed away November 12, 2020. She was born March 16, 1930 in Chicago to Anthony and Angeline (Laparo) Accardo. On August 5, 1950 she married Herbert E. Zielke, he preceded her in death earlier this year, after nearly 70 years of marriage. Josephine was a talented artist whose influence can be measured in the artistic works of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her legacy includes several paintings in oil, watercolor and pastel that are treasured by her family and friends. Josephine enjoyed ballroom and square dancing with her husband, Herb. They began dancing together on the stage of their high school in Chicago and then joined a square/round dance club while living in Medinah, Illinois. For 20 years, they enjoyed ballroom dancing at Sun Bird in Arizona with their friends. In their early 80's, Herb and Jo delighted family and friends with their elegant moves at the weddings of their grandchildren. Josephine loved her entire family very much and never missed a day to ask how everyone was doing. She is survived by her children, Linda, Herb, Jody, and Chris; her grandchildren, Amanda, Terra, Janelle, Nicole, Tony, Dana, Erin, Sierra, and Hannah; and her great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Nolan, Lily, Colton, and Leona. A service to celebrate the lives of Herbert and Josephine as well as the interment of their ashes will be at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Arlington Heights, IL, at a later date when it is safe to gather.

For now, the family is greatly appreciative for any memories family and friends have to share on this website about their time with Josephine.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Josephine Zielke

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Janelle Konieczski

November 30, 2020

"Angel of God my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and to guide". I may not be a church going gal but because of you, gram, I say this prayer to myself at night and look at the angel you gave me in 1994. Yes, I still keep it on my nightstand! Thank you, gram and gramps, for the loving examples you set and all of the wonderful memories. I love you both very much.

Jody Hagestedt

November 29, 2020

My wonderful mother seemed to have endless energy growing up. She worked on a daily basis to create a happy, loved, well cared for family. She ran a smooth household and still found time to bake fresh fruit pies every Saturday.
Deep gratitude went to my mom when she was in her 50's for the 5 weeks she spent teaching me about newborn care and working hand in hand to assist with Janelle and Nicole's first weeks. We shared the joy as well as the sleep deprivation which mom never complained about. I was so fortunate for her loving help.
Memories of Christmas bring the tradition of Italian cuisine which was passed down from my grandma Angeline "Lena" to, as she called my mom, "Josie Mama" to me. No one could make the aromatic special sause, lasagna, meatballs, sausage and breaded artichokes like my mom. Mom's Biscotti, Pizellas and almond cookies were such a treat.
A funny Christmas memory was my mom frequently goofing by mistake and referring to my dad as "grandpa" instead of " Santa" in front of the grandkids when dad was in full costume acting the part....
So many precious memories... I am so thankful mom and dad shared 70 years and are dancing again together in spirit. Our love for you both will live on forever.

Terra Jenkins

November 28, 2020

Grandma was so on top of sending birthday wishes and love, it was incredible.  Sometimes she even reminded me that my birthday was close because she would send a card a few weeks early just to make sure it got there on time. I loved how even though they lived miles away, her and Grandpa would always be there for our family's main events. I remember thinking to myself after one of their visits back to Illinois, wow I can't believe Grandma and Grandpa look so good. They haven't aged a bit! Living in Arizona kept them young at heart and happy. I'm glad they decided to move closer to family though a few years ago. The connection she had with Lily was priceless. I will cherish those memories forever. Every time we drove by Fox Point Lily would ask to call or visit Grandma. She will be greatly missed by all of us.

Linda Gurgone

November 28, 2020

I have so many memories of our family during the holiday season. My mother loved getting the whole family together for Thanksgiving. The menu never varied and she cooked tirelessly every year. Turkey, sausage with chestnut stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli and a green jello mold made with pineapple, nuts and sour cream. We assembled a long table, covered with a chartreuse tablecloth that ran from the dining room into the living room. The table was set with fine china samples from my Dad’s business and we used Mom’s best silver. Everyone sat together; there were no kid’s tables.
At Christmas my mother’s number one goal was to get a group family photo. Getting everyone together was so predictably chaotic that one year Terry filmed a video of it so that we could all laugh about it later. My mom got out her tripod and camera, herded everyone together into a blob and lined us up. It was difficult, this living mass was prone to get distracted and disperse easily. Then Mom would run to the camera, set the timer and jump back into the frame. Everyone in our family has a wonderful set of photos from all our Christmases together. Watching the family grow, adding grandchildren each year was pure joy for my Mom and Dad. We miss them so much it is hard to describe.

Christine Knechtel

November 27, 2020

There have been moments in my adult life when I wished to go back to my childhood for a day, to revisit the feeling of total security, innocence, carefree play and wonderment. This is a most important testimony of the genuine love and support exhibited in the Zielke household.

My dear mother was energetic, hardworking, even tempered, and creative. As a child I was constantly crafting something, leaving a trail of cut-up paper, glue, popsicle sticks, or what have you. She would kindly refer to me as "her little messer" and never raised her voice to pick up after myself. She would draw attention to what I had made to visitors ,...especially my elaborate troll houses. Kudos, Mom. Thank you for instilling confidence in me.

One Thanksgiving when I was just 8 years old, I was helping put food on the table as dinner was just about to be served. I dropped a glass dish of juicy, bright red crab apples all over the kitchen floor, not to mention my Mom's nylons and shoes! She did not reprimand me. Patience and wisdom.

My mother was a fine artist with innate abilities. When her family was young, she attended an oil painting class from a seasoned instructor. Upon completing her first painting, he told her she did not need lessons. I used to watch her paint as a child and would pretend to paint with a clean brush on a blank canvas. I began my painting career at age 11 and have since painted hundreds of paintings. I believe that having the desire to produce art is what we appreciated most in ourselves. Art was our friend. Thanks for the inspiration, Mom.

I will miss my mom dearly. The idea of my parents being reunited, gives me peace.

Judy Nesbitt

November 25, 2020

When we first made Sun Bird our winter home in 2000, we signed up for a community clean up day wishing to meet some new people. I remember seeing a woman with beautiful white hair and thinking that I would like to get to know her. We were lucky enough to become friends with Jo & Herbie. We have such wonderful memories of the dances, dinners and cocktail parties. They became honorable members of our 'Montana Family'.
We are so sorry for your loses.

Ginger & Gordon Nivon

November 24, 2020

Dear Jo & Herb, we will miss you forever. We had some great times in our adopted state of AZ didn’t we. Now Herb and his bride Josephine are together dancing in Heaven. The angels are in awe of these two smoothies.
Sympathy to your family.
Ginger & Gordon
Sunbird, AZ

Russell Jenkins

November 23, 2020

It is easy to believe that those with artistic talent are just naturally gifted. Yet, like any great skill, I believe it takes passion and dedication to obtain. Above our living room chairs, we have art from generations of family. Cousins. Aunts. Mothers. Daughters.

It is in these painting that I see Grandma on a regular basis. It is in these paintings that I see her expressions of love and passion for life—because she has instilled meaningful values in each of the artists that have followed her. Sisters, sharing shade under a tree. Birds keeping company on a limb. Abstract and contrasting colors in harmony. A love for the moment.

Beyond the canvas, we are given an opportunity to paint the story of our lives. With that brush, Grandma was a laugher. She was a sweetheart. She was a partner. She was a dancer. And, she and grandpa danced and treated one another the way all people wish to be loved. They brought hope to young hearts and always sewed compassion over criticism.

One remarkable and visible trait that tends to follow us wherever we go—is our eyes. I see grandma’s eyes in my mother. I see them in my aunts. I see them in my beautiful wife and our joyful daughters. It is in these eyes I trust our future—and find light in dark or difficult times. And, in recent years, Grandma saw her own eyes in Lily. They connected many times. Holding hands. Kissing cheeks. Chattering and smiling at one another. They warmed each others hearts. And, I have to belief that gave her continued peace on her journey.

Above all, grandma, I want to say thank you. To a life well lived. To a family well loved. You are in every part of my day, and my days are better for it. May the universe hold you as well as you held it.


November 16, 2020

Aunt Jo and Uncle Herb will be greatly missed. I have many fond memories of my time together with them They were a wonderful Aunt and Uncle to me. I especially enjoyed our visits to Arizona. One special visit was when Herb's sisters, Ruth and Lillian came with my sister, Kate and myself to visit them in Arizona. They had many fun places for us to enjoy. We all ate, drank, laughed and cried over many memories that we shared. I was very fortunate to have had them in my life, not only as a child but as an adult as well. I know that they are having fun dancing together once again.


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