ROBERT K. "BOB" ZUKOWSKI, age 85, of Thorp, passed away on Monday, June 1, 2015 at Ministry St. Joseph's Hospital, in Marshfield, with his family by his side. Funeral services will be held at 10:30am on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig's Catholic Church, in Thorp. Rev. Janusz Kowalski will officiate and burial will follow in New St. Hedwig's Catholic Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by the Thorp American Legion Post #118. Visitation will be held at the church, on Saturday, from 9am until time of service.
Robert Kenneth Zukowski was born on the family farm, in the Town of Reseburg, the first child of Peter and Estelle (Mamayek) Zukowski, on April 24, 1930. He received his elementary education at Goff State Graded School and graduated from Thorp High School in 1948. Bob then worked for a time on the family farm, and later sought employment with Mathy Construction. Bob was united in marriage to Dolores Jean Malnar on December 29, 1953 at Holy Family Catholic Church, in Willard. He was inducted into the U.S. Army and served in France during the Korean Conflict. After his honorable discharge, they purchased the family farm, and there they raised their four children.
Bob took great pleasure watching his children show purebred cattle with the prefix Reselane. He was a member of the Holstein-Friesian Association on the county, state and national levels, where he served as county president. In addition, he also was elected and served on the ASCS Board, and represented rural Clark County on the Executive Committee, planning Farm Progress Days in July 1983.
He was a member of St. Bernard-St. Hedwig's Catholic Church, a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters since age 15, a member of the Polish National Alliance, and the Thorp Historical Society. With great love for his country, Bob joined the American Legion, the VFW, and the Sons of the American Legion, which he qualified through his father, who was a WWI veteran.
Because the military was a great part of his life, Bob served in various offices of the American Legion, beginning at the local level and ending at the national level. He was elected State Commander for 1989-1990 and later served as National Executive Committeman from 1992-2000. He gave of his time to the Clark County Veterans Commission for over 17 years, which during this time, Bob was elected president of the Wisconsin County Veterans Committee and was instrumental in the development of the Thorp Veterans' Park.
Being extremely proud of his Polish heritage, he organized the beginning of the Polish Heritage 4th of July Picnic. In 2006, he took the trip of his life, to Poland, and more fully appreciated his ethnic background. In 2011, through research, creativity and perseverance, he brought to fruition a Wisconsin Historical Marker; which is located near Old St. Hedwig's Catholic Cemetery in the Town of Withee, rural Thorp, and serves as an unparalleled tribute to the Polish immigrants from Poznan, who settled in the Thorp area.
One of Bob's favorite pastimes was being in the woods and hunting. He especially enjoyed fox hunting with his hounds in his youth, and later in life continued to hunt deer around home and made trips out west elk hunting. Additionally, many cars and tractors were restored with his expertise.
Bob was elected to the Thorp School Board in 1972 as a write-in candidate. Later, he was elected to the Wisconsin State Legislature from the 69th District, serving from 1992-1998.
Never losing his love of farming, he worked for a time as field man for Raber's Foods and LaGrander's Hillside Dairy. This way he could still be in contact with farmers. Then, Bob re-retired at the age of 75. What was his greatest pet peeve? When a person is asked to help and says, "I don't have the time."
Bob is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dolores, of Thorp; one son: Robert James Zukowski of Marshfield; three daughters: Julianne (David) Carriveau of Marathon, Janelle Zukowski of Oshkosh, Ann-Marie Zukowski of Seymour; 6 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; one sister: Geraldine Elzinga of Worth, IL; one brother: Donald (Darlene) Zukowski of Owen; and one sister-in-law: Joanne Zukowski of Deerfield, IL.
He was predeceased by his parents; two daughters: Rosanne and Annette in infancy; and one brother: Leonard Zukowski.