Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
We regret to share that John Lee Zielinski was taken too early on Thursday, November 2 and is up in heaven. Born in Bay City, Michigan to John Eugene Zielinski and Jennie Marie Silvernail, John was the 2nd child of 6 children and the eldest boy.
As an infant, John was quite the fighter after developing double pneumonia and scaring his mother half to death. After she learned about the trick of applying goose’s grease, he fully recovered and was frequently told what ‘good lungs’ he had.
Growing up in Detroit, throughout childhood John was extremely passionate about sports, in particular baseball, and had a knack for recalling any player’s stats effortlessly. He became so obsessed with baseball and collecting baseball cards, that a commonly told story includes John stealing from his father in order to obtain more baseball/sports cards. Unfortunately, his father found out and when he did, he threw out all the cards John obtained. Today, those would be worth...! His passion for sports never wavered. He frequently could be found watching his favorite teams from Detroit and of course, his newfound favorite teams in Dallas. In his last few days, he experienced the pure delight and joy of watching the Texas Rangers win the World Series with his brother.
Dad graduated from Warren Woods High School in Warren, Michigan in 1972. His effortless ability to recall numbers followed him throughout his life. Dad also had an uncanny ability to multiply large numbers in his head as fast as a calculator even up until his last few days. This resulted in a partial scholarship to attend Eastern Michigan University where he studied Business Management and Accounting for two years before beginning work in the financial sector.
John hated the cold. Additionally, he had the travel bug and wanted to leave Michigan to move southward. Lucky for him, he got a job at Fort Wayne Mortgage where he did extremely well and was promoted. Once promoted, he qualified for a transfer and agreed to move to Dallas, Texas in 1978 where he never looked back. Shortly after moving to Texas, he met Lisa who he quickly married in 1983 and became the parent of Lauren Leigh, affectionately referred to as ‘pretty princess, little sweets… angel bunny’.
He continued to work in the financial sector working for both Payco American and then Associates Financial (later acquired by Citibank) as a Collections Manager acquiring several awards throughout his career. In 2000, Dad suffered a fall causing serious injury to his back. After receiving a massage from his close friend Mona, he was inspired to change careers, became an entrepreneur, and moved into health and wellness with a focus on massage therapy where he practiced for 20 years. He spent much of his time on health and wellness; always spreading the word to others to do the same. He also made it a point to focus on others by helping his father in his remaining days, spoiling his mother before her passing last year, and uplifting and encouraging both his daughter and brother, even up until the day of his passing.
John was passionate throughout his life about many things. He loved a good road trip and exploring someplace new, especially the trips moving his daughter up to Portland, Oregon, driving through New England, and the trip to the Bahamas. He enjoyed nature but didn’t experience his first camping trip until 2014 when he went with his daughter and found out how much he enjoyed building a fire. A true athlete, Dad had keen eyesight and more often than not beat everyone he played in pool, shuffleboard, darts, and many others. He found peace and harmony being outside by the pool and sauna and after being forced to retire from the pandemic, he spent most of his remaining days relaxing outside.
He LOVED babies. Everywhere he went, he somehow managed to make friends with every baby around him. And he greatly looked forward to one day, becoming a grandfather.
John was known to be, at times, a challenging man. However, as he aged, he was motivated to make up for his mistakes, remove any BS from his life, and focus ONLY, on the positive in the world. He believed in a positive mindset and commonly responded to people with the following coined quote ‘Little Obstacle, Big Opportunity’.
In his last few years, he relished retirement and shared how much the following things meant to him: Trish's 60th Birthday party, his Mom's 95th Birthday party, staying in a cabin for his 70th birthday, bonding with his son-in-law while putting up Halloween decorations, spending time in Jerry's cabin with his brothers, and many more moments with family and friends.
He is preceded in death by parents John Eugene Zielinski, and Jennie Marie Silvernail and brother David Andrew.
He is survived by his only child and daughter Lauren (Darren), sisters Jan and Kathy (Ed), and brothers Bob and Jerry (Trish) and will be deeply missed by them as well as friends and additional family members.
As a lover of nature and In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the National Forest Foundation or plant a tree in his name. The first Celebration of Life will be held at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, at 6701 W. Parker Road, Plano, Texas 75093, on Saturday, November 25th, 2023, from 2-4pm. Light refreshments will be served. With questions, please contact Lauren Anderson at 503.438.8072.