The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Gerald T. 'Papa Jerr' Zell


HURLEY, Wis. - Gerald T. "Papa Jerr" Zell, 83, of Hurley, died peacefully Wednesday morning, May 24, 2017, at home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Oct. 18, 1933, in Ironwood, Mich., son of the late Charles and Lucille (Morris) Zell, and graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley in 1952. He served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1964.

Jerry retired from the Iron County Highway Department in 1995. He was known for his big heart, sense of humor, his big smile, his big, beautiful singing voice, and his snow sculpture that he had to get put into the newspaper. His favorite song to sing was "Old Man River."

He talked to everyone he encountered and would sing to anyone who would listen or not listen. A man of compassion, he would help out anyone in need. He also was known as the singing deliveryman when he worked at Constantini's Furniture Store in his retirement. He was a world traveler and people would ask where the next trip would be. He also was a big Green Bay Packer fan. He will be sadly missed by his family and many friends.

On April 18, 1959, he married Margaret Dianich. She preceded him in death on Dec. 7, 1969.

On June 18, 1975, he married Alice Maki. She survives.

Also surviving are his daughters, Tammy (Dennis) Mieloszyk and Terri (Rick) Rowe; son, Mike (Janica); stepdaughters, Cheri (Robert) Constantini, Michelle (Les) Kowalski and Debbie Brackett; 15 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; brother, Richard; numerous sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews; and special friends, Earl (Papa Jello) Brackett and Jordan Hein.

Besides his parents, Jerry was predeceased by a sister, Lorraine; brothers, Morris in infancy, Bill, Donald, Robert and Charles; and a stepson, Eugene (Buddy) Maki.

Out of respect for his wishes, cremation has taken place.

Memorial services will be held Monday, May 29, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home, 305 N. Lowell St., in Ironwood, with Joe Willger presiding.

Private inurnment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hurley, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Regional Hospice, 216 Aurora St. Ironwood, MI 49938.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood. Condolences may be expressed online at


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018