Ronald Edward Zepnick "Zep"
Ronald Edward Zepnick "Zep," age 88, passed away peacefully May 17, 2021, in Oakwood Prairie Ridge where he lived with Janice, his wife of 68 years.
Zep was born May 30th, 1932, in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the youngest of Charles J. and Lillian (Uttke) Zepnick's three children. He attended Boys' Technical High School, where he lettered in Cross-Country, served on student council, sang in the All-City Chorus, and was a member of the National Honor Society.
While still in high school he was selected to intern at Cutler-Hammer (now Eaton Corporation) and was then hired as an electrical draftsman upon his high school graduation in 1951. That summer of 1951, he met a new-hire in the mail room, a 16-year-old high school graduate named Janice Petrusky. They were engaged March 21, 1952 and were married June 20, 1953. They both worked their entire careers at Cutler-Hammer for over 40 years. During his career, Zep trained engineers from around the world and earned patents for electrical switches he invented. He retired as a development standardization electrical engineer in 1993. ¬
Zep and Janice were wonderful life partners. During their 70 years together, they worked as a team to support one another and their family, and shared many of the same hobbies and interests. Whenever music was playing, Zep was first out on the dance floor with Janice, particularly for romantic songs like their favorite, "Moon River." They loved to travel, including cross-country road trips with their daughters, and international travel after they had retired. Zep and Janice enjoyed longstanding card games of poker and sheepshead with family and friends. They were passionate sports fans, cheering on the Green Bay Packers and University of Wisconsin Badgers, whether watching on television or from the stands at the Rose Bowl. Not only did Zep love watching sports, but he and Janice both participated as athletes too. For decades he was on the Cutler-Hammer softball team, bait-casting team, bowling team, and the co-ed bowling team with Janice. When they weren't at home in Greenfield, Wisconsin, they could be found up north at their cabin in Phillips, Wisconsin, the site of countless family celebrations and memories. Janice and Zep, typically with his cigar, loved being outdoors fishing and taking long walks on scenic country roads.
Zep was also dedicated to serving his community. After moving in 1966 to Greenfield, a suburb of Milwaukee, he raised funds for the Greenfield Jaycees, led countless volunteers organizing the first annual Greenfield City Picnic and the first annual Greenfield Winter Frolics. He also donated his time leading the Greenfield Council of Organizations, Greenfield Board of Public Works, Junior Achievement, and Greenfield Hawk's Booster Club. In 1974 he was elected as Greenfield District 1 Alderman, and served as a tireless and enthusiastic city leader. He was re-elected for four consecutive terms including serving six years as President of the City Council. In recognition for his hard work and dedicated service Zep received numerous awards including the Mayor's Service Award.
Following his retirement in 1993, Zep and Janice enjoyed splitting their time between their Wisconsin cabin and their waterfront home in Bartow, Florida. In Bartow, Zep and Janice were active with Senior Olympics, played on couples bowling teams and Zep even served on an alligator watch patrol.
Zep was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 14 years ago. In 2019, he and Janice moved back up to their home state of Wisconsin to live in an independent-living apartment in Oakwood Prairie Ridge, close to family in Madison.
Ronald Zepnick will be lovingly missed by his wife of 68 years, Janice; his daughter Pam Policano and her husband Andy; his granddaughter Julia Benjamin and her husband Will Nenadal, and his great-grandson Aran Nenjamin; as well as his granddaughter Sarah Buening and her husband Jorge, and his great-granddaughters, Kalina and Sydney. He will also be dearly missed by his daughter Sharon, and granddaughter Amelia Zepnick and her husband Robert Vercellino as well as many extended family members. Zep was predeceased by his parents, Charles Zepnick and Lillian Zepnick Sovinski, step-father Leo Sovinski, sister Lorraine Heise, brother Charles Zepnick, and grandson Arthur Zepnick.
Ronald Zepnick's life will be celebrated in a small private family service on what would have been his 89th birthday, May 30th, 2021.
Ronald Zepnick will be remembered as one who loved to work hard and play hard. He was dedicated to loving his wife and family, and his contagious enthusiasm meant he enjoyed lifelong friendships with those from grade-school, high school, work, and his community.
Zep's motto shared in many birthday and wedding toasts was, no matter what, "You gotta have fun!"
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Oakwood Foundation, Inc., 6209 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI. www.oakwoodfoundationinc.org would be sincerely appreciated.
Condolences may be shared with Zep's family by posting Tributes or mailing to
Informed Choice Funeral Services, 3325 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 54704
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