John E. Zuffa (1922-2014)

John Zuffa

John E. Zuffa, age 91 a resident of Kenosha, died Wednesday July 30th 2014 surrounded by his loving family at the Hospice House in Racine.

John was born on September 22, 1922 to the late Joseph and Hermina (Grebac) Zuffa in Kenosha WI. He was educated in Kenosha schools and graduated from high school in February 1941. He started playing the clarinet at age 12. He played saxophone and clarinet with many area bands including John Bunic Big Band, Kenosha Pops, Reminiscing, Pat Crawford Big Band and many other small groups.

He went to work at Jockey International. He entered armed services in December 1942 and was assigned to the Army Air Corp.  He served as Engine Mechanic on B-17 and B-29 heavy bombers used by training crews. He was discharged at Camp McCoy WI February 1946 and returned to Jockey International. On May 11, 1946 John married Lillian A. Rossa at St. Anthony’s Church in Kenosha where they were life long members. He was a member of their choir for over 40 years. John retired from Jockey International October 1984. John was a member of the Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol. His hobbies were music, golf, collecting stamps and coins. He volunteered at United Hospital Systems Kenosha Campus, at the clinic information desk for 13 years retiring in 2010.

John is survived by his wife Lillian Ann, son Richard J. (Jeanene) of Marseilles IL and daughters Barbara A. Petersen of Kenosha WI and Janet L. (Eric) Moore of Wheaton IL. He is also survived by one grandchild Taylor Janet Krauss of Wheaton IL, 5 step grandchildren and 3 step great grandchildren. He is further survived by a sister Rose J. Daily.

John was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joseph, Manuel and Thomas and sisters Erna, Ann and Mary.

Special thanks to Dr. Peter Mariani and Dr. David Knight for their wonderful compassionate care. Also thanks to M. Osh, John’s caring physical therapist at Grande Prairie Health and Rehab Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday August 8th 2014 at 11:00AM at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Kenosha. (2223-51st Street) A visitation with the family will be on Friday at the church from 10:00AM until the time of mass. Entombment will take place at All Saints Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to either St. Anthony Catholic Church or the American Cancer Society would be appreciated.

Thoughts for John E. Zuffa (1922-2014);

  • Shane Mooney says:

    My sincere sympathies to John’s family. It was an honor to perform with John in both the Bunic Big Band and the Pat Crawford Big Band throughout the years. I also jammed with him with Dave Braun’s group. With a smile always on his face, he played with great skill and creativity. He will always be remembered as a person with a warm heart.

  • Mike Petersen says:

    I am grateful to have known John Zuffa. Simply put John was a GOOD man. I remember him as a member of the greatest generation, living at the best of times and helping to make it that way. He was married once for life and raised 3 very intelligent, University of Wisconsin educated children of which any person would be proud.

    Just a few of the many thinks I admired about John was that he and his brothers built his first home on 38th avenue. John embraced God’s musical ability gift and developed it to the fullest. He was a member of many orchestras, bands and groups. He could tune a piano by ear. His musical talent and love for music and family help as a second and third job when he tuned pianos and his group was hired to play. He loved playing music, but that must have changed to love of family playing until 1:00 AM. John worked 44 years for the same employer. He retired at age 62 and never looked back, continuing to lead a full life. “Now he belongs to the ages” and is with God who will “wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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