Donald Gene Zinke

Donald Gene Zinke

Donald G. Zinke, age 71 of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin formerly of Madison, Wisconsin passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at the Agrace HospiceCare in Madison after a short battle with a brain tumor.

Born March 6, 1942 to Fred and Emma Zinke, Don graduated from Wisconsin Dells high school in 1960 then earned a business degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. After college, Don owned and operated the Cross Bow Nightclub (Purple Grackle-Dells) and had the land contract paid off in its first year but lost the club when it burned to the ground. He then earned a Master Degree in Business education and taught at Madison West high school while running a successful furniture store. He eventually gave up teaching for a full-time career in business in Madison plus owning and operating a radio station and health care facility in Sarasota, Florida. Don was the original co-owner of the Essen Haus and was rated in the top ten landlords in Madison. In 1996, Don returned to education at Middleton high school working with students in the special education department. He was a dedicated and skillful educator who loved working with the cognitively disabled. He retired from education in 2011 and returned to the Dells to help with the caregiving of a family member.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Gordon and Ken of Wisconsin Dells. He was survived by a sister, Carolyn Zinke Murphy, Lake Tahoe, Nev./Calif.

The family would like to acknowledge the appreciated care and friendship of Dan Gjertson, Madison and Betty Heller Hobbs, Wisconsin Dells during his life and short illness.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. until the memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Dells.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Don’s name, may be made to the Middleton High School Transition Program for cognitively disabled students. Donations can be made to “MHS Transition Program”.