Jeannine R. Zinke, of Wisconsin Dells, died peacefully on December 4, 2017 with her family at her bedside.
87 years ago on May 4, 1930 a baby girl was born to George and Jessie Lambkin in La Crosse, WI. She was named Jeannine Ruth and always thought her name was due to the number one hit of 1928 by Gene Austin, “Jeannine, I dream of Lilac Time.” Her sister, Janet (Klawitter of Janesville, WI) was born five years later and Jeannine’s mothering skills were born.
When the girls were in their teens, George and Jessie bought a tavern with cabins in Wisconsin Dells and named it Dad’s Log Tavern. The girls helped with maid duties while on summer vacation from school. It was during one working summer that Jeannine inquired of a friend, “Who’s that good lookin’ guy over there?” The answer, “Oh, that’s just Ken Zinke”. As Jeannine later related, “I’m going to get that guy! And I did!” After a two-year stint in Germany with the US Air Force, Ken married Jeannine on a snowy day in La Crosse in 1951. He took her to Biloxi, Mississippi and 9 months and 5 days later, baby Debbie was born. Six years later, a son, Daniel completed the family. Ken retired from the military in December, 1967 and moved the family to Wisconsin Dells where he took over, from his father Fred, running Zinke’s Shop Rite with his brother, Gordon.
Jeannine and Ken traveled the world with Roundy’s grocers. They had a log cabin on Lake Jordan where the family would enjoy water skiing, hydro-cycling, and other fun at the lake. Jeannine was always the hostess with the mostest! Her cooking was great according to Ken and her peach pie; a winner. She always looked her best with very fashionable clothes, got a fresh hairdo on Fridays at LaPetite and loved Friday Fish Fry at Field’s Steak and Stein.
With the kids gone, Ken and Jeannine decided to give up the fast life at Lake Jordan and retire to pontooning on the river from their home on River Road. Many friends and family enjoyed gathering at the new place and taking a trip up river with Ken as captain. Jeannine lost Ken after nearly 60 years of marriage and thus began her final phase of life, living with dementia. She never lost her sense of humor and could come up with one liners that always brought a smile to listeners. Jeannine is survived by her daughter, Debra Zinke Weitzel of Middleton; son, Dan (Charla) Zinke and grandson, Chad Zinke; grandson, Derrick (Renee) Partlow and great-grandchildren, Ari, Sade and Wynn, all of Wisconsin Dells; sister, Janet Klawitter of Janesville and sister-in-law, Carolyn Zinke Murphy, Lake Tahoe, NV. A family celebration of her life took place on December 8, 2017. The family would like to thank Oak Park Place of Baraboo for excellent care in the two years Jeannine lived there and to Agrace Hospice, whose excellent care eased her from this life. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.