Fraser businessman Harold Zielke dies
Harold F. “Mike” Zielke, of Fraser – businessman, father and grandfather, cross country skier and biker – died on Jan. 4, 2011, at Aurora Care Center in 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 County running in Wisconsin in the 1980s to become a fierce competitor in road biking, mountain biking and Nordic skiing. He loved sailing with his 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. As a born-again athlete, Mike was one of the founders of the Flambeau Nordic Ski and Bike Club. He was an Altar Boy, Eagle Scout and a Boy Scout Leader.Mike was an economics graduate of the University of Wisconsin and did post-graduate work at Loyola University in Chicago. Upon graduation he joined SC Johnson & Son in Racine, Wis., as a cost accountant. When that company began to diversify Mike was tapped to become production manager for a personal care products company in Manitowoc, Wis. He went on to hold production management jobs in a number of heavy industry companies including Marquip Inc., Phillips, Wis., moving from Wisconsin to Kansas City in his manufacturing career. Mike left the industry in 1991 and with his wife started a sporting goods retail store in Kansas City. Mike retired in 2003 and the couple moved to the mountains 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. “Mike” Zielke was born on Oct. 29, 1939, to Harold E. and Theodora E. Niggemann Zielke in Rib Lake, Wis. He joined an older sister Patricia.Irish immigrants were being assimilated into American life at that time and many Irish “Pat & Mike” jokes evolved. He was a 1957 graduate of Rib Lake High School and a 1963 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He married Mary 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; his daughter Tricia and her husband Karl Kissinger of Appleton, Wis.; his sister Patricia Zielke Hastreiter of Wausau, Wis.; and his uncle Walter Zielke of Brookfield, Wis. He was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law Laura Zielke.The family held private funeral services. The Monarch Society of Denver assisted with the final details. A memorial celebration of Mike’s life will be held this summer at High Point Village, located at the edge of Bass Lake near Timm’s Hill in Wisconsin.The family encourages donations to Heart of the Mountains Hospice, PO Box 140, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451; to the Alzheimer’s Association, 415 Peterson St., Fort Collins, CO 80524; or to trail maintenance of the Ice Age Trail through the Ice Age Trail Alliance (email@example.com) in northern Wisconsin where Mike spent so many enjoyable hours.
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