MADISON / AVOCA / IOWA CITY, Iowa—Paul Henry Zajicek, age 87, passed away on Dec. 3, 2017, at the Briarwood Care Center in Iowa City, Iowa, where he had been a resident for nearly six years.
He was born in a log home in the Village of Bell Center in Crawford County, Wis., on May 27, 1930. He was the youngest of six children of Frank and Josephine (Farrington) Zajicek. After graduating in 1948 from Lone Rock High School, he left the farm life from which he grew up. He married his wife of 66 years, Marlys Fosnow, on Sept. 15, 1951. They had three children, Anthony, Judy and Richard. He was known to his family as “Bud,” “Uncle Bud” and to former co-workers as “Zork.” He had various occupations. He was the railroad depot agent and telegrapher in Belmont, Wis., for several years until the depot’s closure. This precipitated his joining the Madison Police Force in 1958. While on the force, he often worked by night and went to Madison Area Technical College by day. This led to his becoming a machinist for the University of Wisconsin in 1963.
During his Madison years, he took up the clarinet and saxophone and played in the VFW band for several years. He was a gifted handyman who excelled at carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring which he put to use buying fixer-uppers, fixing them up, renting them out, or residing in them. He freely gave his time with these skills to help those around him as well as extended family and friends needing new roofs, bathrooms, re-wiring, etc.
He had many hobbies. Being an expert in National Code and Morse Code, he was a ham radio enthusiast, communicating with people around the globe. He was an RC (radio control) Modeler, making, flying and once in a while, crashing airplanes. Another love of his was making black powder guns, lock, stock and barrel as well as being an Ace sharpshooter with them in his coonskin hat and buckskin duds at gun club shoots.
He retired in 1979 and moved to Avoca, Wis., where he and Marlys lived for 31 years. His radio control hobby expanded to making boats, which he powered up by installing chainsaw engines that he masterfully converted for the purpose and which he sailed from his home pier on the Avoca Lake. He was a Cracker Jack comedic softball announcer for leagues in and around Avoca, entertaining softball enthusiasts for a couple of decades.
Paul and Marlys shared a strong common Catholic faith which not only kept them active in St. Joseph’s Church of Avoca but also led them to go on numerous pilgrimages around the world.
For the past eight years Paul and Marlys have resided in Iowa City, Iowa, close to their daughter.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Josephine Zajicek; his son, Anthony Zajicek; by his five siblings, Wynema (Sue) Schmitz, Eileen Angle, Renora Bremmer, Galen Zajicek and James Zajicek; and by a nephew, Joseph Schmitz. He is survived by his wife, Marlys; daughter, Judy Madsen (Mark); son, Richard Zajicek; his four grandchildren, Thomas Madsen, Amanda Volz (Daniel), Heidi Madsen, and Steven Zajicek (Christina); and one great-grandson and namesake, Paul Zajicek.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 701 Wisconsin St., Avoca, with burial to follow in the church cemetery. A luncheon will be served at the OLD SCHOOL in Avoca following the burial. A visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, at the GODAGER PRATT FUNERAL HOME, 710 N. Wisconsin Ave., Muscoda, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. with a rosary to be prayed at 7 p.m. A visitation will also be held at ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass at 11 a.m. The Pratt Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with their arrangements. Online condolences can be made at prattfuneralservice.com.
The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of the Briarwood Care Center for the wonderful care and kindness they gave Paul for the past nearly six years and also to Essence of Life Hospice staff who provided additional care and support to Paul and his family during this last month of his life.