In Memory of




Obituary for Carol Joan Zielinski

Carol Joan Zielinski (nee Weis), 90, Brown Deer, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully surrounded by family members on September 1, 2023. Carol was born on December 6, 1932 to Christine and George Weis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After Carol graduated from Rufus King High School in 1951 she went on to attend Spencerian Business College where she met and fell in love with Jim Zielinski, also of Milwaukee. They married in 1955 and enjoyed 64 wonderful years of marriage. Their partnership resulted in four children: William James Zielinski (Melissa), Christine Ann Clarke (Tom), Jeannie Marie Zielinski (Mike) and David Louis Zielinski (Deb) and two grandchildren, Alexandra Lawson Zielinski and Nicholas Zielinski Fuhrer. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Jim.

Carol provided a peaceful, loving and stable life for her children, whom she supported and loved without hesitation or judgment. This continued well beyond their childhood including, for example, hand knitting Christmas stockings for all of the children and grandchildren and the preparation of care packages sent to the kids when they were away at college. Over the years those loving packages included her scrumptious chocolate-chip cookies, one-of-a-kind granola and cranberry bread.

Carol's support included encouraging her kids to follow their dreams, even at what was a high price to her: that their dreams could take her children far from home. Ultimately, the dispersion of her children paid off in the travel destinations where Carol visited them or traveled with them.  These included Guatemala, Paris, Norway, California, North Carolina, and Minnesota. She was very proud of her kids but never boastful (except to them) and it was this humble pride in success that she and Jim instilled in their children.

Carol enjoyed laughing. Whether it was after a muffed shot on the golf course, during a lively game of cards with her friends, or dancing with Jim, she demonstrated a joyful spirit. Laughter also was important at home and Carol set the tone by being the first to start a pillow fight or to encourage her kids to join her in a board game.  She was the perfect model of respectful parenting and childish joy. Her unique personality made her a joy to know.

Carol had a lifelong love of classical piano, learning as a young girl and going on to entertain family and friends for years at gatherings and holidays with her wonderful piano playing.

Her calligraphy was exquisite and Carol's family was a frequent beneficiary of her artwork through cards and gifts; she also was a proud member of the Cream City Calligraphers and Paper Arts guild.

Golf also was an important part of Carol's life, especially as her children got older. She continued to improve, taking lessons all her adult life into her 70s and 80s. She had leadership roles in the golf leagues in which she participated and enjoyed organizing the end-of-season banquets. She also spent a few years of full-time employment, after her kids were grown, at Junior Achievement.

Carol had a lifelong romance with Jim, who made it his life's mission to ensure she was always loved and cared for. We hope that they are now united again beyond an earthly bond.

A celebration of life will be held for Carol on Sunday October 1 at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center auditorium, 1111 E. Brown Deer Road, Bayside, WI 53217. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and a reception will follow until 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to one of the following organizations: the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, Maryland, 21741,, or to the American Cancer Society, Carol had family members who were impacted by Parkinson's and cancer and was a passionate supporter of both organizations.