Obit: Zielke, Harold F. (1939- 2011)


Surnames: Hastreiter, Kissinger, Niggemann, Rhody, Zielke

----Source: The Star News (Medford, Taylor Co., Wisconsin) Thursday, January 13, 2011, online edition

Zielke, Harold "Mike" F. (October 29, 1939 - January 4, 2011)

Harold "Mike" F. Zielke, of Fraser, Colo., businessman, husband, father, grandfather, cross country skier and biker, and practical jokester, died on January 4, 2011 at Aurora Care Center, Aurora, Colo., at the age of 71, from the complications of early onset Alzheimer's disease.

Evercare Hospice of Denver assisted him on his final journey.

Mike was inspired by his children's involvement in Phillips High School cross country running program in Wisconsin in the 1980s to become a fierce competitor in road biking, mountain biking and nordic skiing. He loved sailing with friends and family on Lakes Michigan and Superior. He won third in his age group at the American Birkebeiner ski race held at Telemark, Wis., the same year his son, Michael, was the top citizen finisher. Just a few years ago, with his daughter Tricia helping him, he skied a farewell tour of the Korteloppet. As a born again athlete, Mike was one of the founders of the Flambeau Nordic Ski and Bike Club in Price and Taylor counties. He was an altar boy, and Eagle Scout and a Boy Scout leader.

Mike was an economics graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did post graduate work at Loyola University in Chicago, Ill. Upon graduation, he joined SC Johnson and Son in Racine, as a cost accountant.

When that company began to diversify, Mike was selected to become production manager of a personal care products company in Manitowoc, Wis. He went on to hold production management positions in a number of heavy industry companies, including Marquip, Inc., Phillips, moving from Wisconsin to Kansas City in his manufacturing career. Mike left industry in 1991 and, with his wife, opened the first Play it Again Sports store in Kansas City. Mike retired in 2003 and the couple moved to the mountain of Colorado to be closer to their grandchildren. He spent his final years traveling, biking, hiking, skiing and enjoying time with his family.

Harold F. Zielke was born on October 29, 1939 to Harold E. and Theodora E. (Niggemann) Zielke in Rib Lake, Wis. He joined a sister, Patricia.

The siblings were German, Irish and English. Irish immigrants were being assimilated into American life at that time and many Irish "Pat and Mike" jokes evolved. Consequently, he became the "Mike" to his sister "Pat." He was a 1957 graduate of Rib Lake High School and a 1963 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He married Mary Ellen Rhody, his high school sweetheart, in 1961.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary; his son, Michael, and children Noah and Hana of Tabernash, Colo.; his daughter, Tricia, and her husband, Karl Kissinger, of Appleton, Wis.; his sister, Patricia Hastreiter of Wausau, Wis.; his uncle, Walter Zielke of Brookfield, Wis.; many nieces, nephews, cousins; and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Laura Zielke, and his brother-in-law, Al Hastreiter.

The family held a private funeral service. The Monarch Society of Denver assisted with the final arrangements.

A memorial celebration of Mike's life will be held this summer, August 6, at High Point Village, located on the edge of Bass Lake near Timm's Hill in Wisconsin.

The family encourages donations in celebration of Mike for northern Wisconsin trail maintenance of the Ice Age Trail through the Ice Age Trail Alliance at where Mike spent so many enjoyable hours.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel