The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John Mathew 'Jack' Zelinski


February 27, 2019

WATERSMEET, Mich. — John Mathew “Jack” Zelinski, age 69, passed away on Sunday Feb. 24, 2019 at home. He was born to John E. and Marion J. (Stark) on March 12, 1949 in Antigo, Wis. He was the second eldest of 14 children. Jack moved to Watersmeet as a child.

He attended Watersmeet High School graduating in 1967 as valedictorian of his class and attended Michigan Tech for a time. Through the years he worked for Caspian Construction, White Pine Copper Company, Ed Wasson Logging, Sorenson Brothers Logging, and Sylvania Outfitters.

Retiring early due to health reasons, Jack, for decades, was babysitter for nieces and nephews and other children. The children all remember having “Great fun with Jack”. They enjoyed going fishing, swimming, berry picking, making maple syrup, playing cards, exploring and listening to Jack play the accordion and button boxes. Jack had an ear for music and liked to play, polkas for one. He had many songs committed to memory.

He was an avid reader, was a critical thinker, had a quest for knowledge, and liked to share what he learned with others. He had a fascination with heavy equipment and construction machinery.

Jack is survived by his siblings, James of Phelps, Wis., Linda (Dennis) Bolton of Watersmeet, Robert (Sandy) of Watersmeet, Rebecca (Robert, d.) Clementz of Hamlin, W.V., Naomi Croy of Lake Oswego, Ore., Jeffrey (Debra) of Watersmeet, Sarah (Thomas, d.) Zelinski-Sauter of Watersmeet, Mary Zelinski (Martin Draeger, d.) of Watersmeet, Emily (Kevin) Geselman of Muir, George (Suzanna) of Watersmeet, Julia (Mark) Stephenson of Rockland, Wis., and Phillip (Caryl DeBroder) of Watersmeet, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; infant brother, Joseph; and three brothers-in-law.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 2, at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, in Watersmeet, with the Rev Jeffrey Kurtz as celebrant. A rosary will be said at the church starting at 9 a.m. and visitation will be held until Mass begins. The Catholic Rite of Committal and interment will be held at a later date in the spring.

Arrangements by Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home, Eagle River, Wis. Online condolences may be expressed at


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