W.J. “Bill” Zenishek
W.J. “Bill” Zenishek, 92, of Solon, left this world on July 11, 2014, to join his Lord in heaven. Funeral Services were held on July 15 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Solon. Burial was at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery with military rites provided by the Solon American Legion.
Bill was born on Nov. 30, 1921, to Fred and Mayme (Krob) Zenishek in rural Johnson County. Bill started playing accordion at the age of three. He played for several social institutions in Cedar Rapids between the ages of five and seven. Bill attended Hayes and Van Buren grade schools and Wilson High School in Cedar Rapids. Bill graduated from Solon High School in 1939. After high school, Bill served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in WWII from April 1942 to September 1945. While stationed in China, he was assigned to the 11th Bomb Squadron, 14th Air Force.
Bill married the beautiful Irene Sullivan on Oct. 18, 1944. Bill and Irene grew their family together at the Zenishek family homestead outside of Solon. Irene passed away in 1987. Bill was remarried in July 1989 to Mary Messinger.
Bill farmed from 1946 to 1989, and also enjoyed an active and involved community life. He was the president of Johnson County NFO in the early 1950s. He was a 70-year member and also served as commander of Stinocher Post 460 in 1954, and continued serving in the color guard and as a bugler for almost 50 years. Bill was a devout member of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, and sang in the choir for over 40 years until the church’s closing in 1996. He loved traveling and fishing, as well as spending time and breaking bread with his family and friends.
Left to carry on the family torch are his children Patrick (Toni) Zenishek of Solon, Deb Zenishek of Cedar Falls, Michael (Su) Zenishek of Solon, Gary (Sherri) Zenishek of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Teresa (Dave) Wilford of Solon, a sister Dorothy Ramsey of Cedar Rapids. Bill was also able to celebrate his life with his 14 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by parents, stepfather Vernon Kent, brother Robert, wives Irene Sullivan Zenishek and Mary Messinger Zenishek.
The family would like to thank the nurses and aides at the Solon Nursing Care Center who loved and cared for Bill.
In lieu of flowers memorials can made to the Solon American Legion or Solon Food Pantry.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.