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Jack Zeleznikar

Jack Zeleznikar

Jack Albert Zeleznikar, 95, of Casa Grande, AZ, passed away peacefully in his home on January 9, 2019. Born in Duluth, MN on April 4, 1923 to Josef and Johana (Glinsek), Jack was the seventh of their twelve children. Jack lived most of his life in Duluth, retiring first to Iron River, WI and Tucson, AZ, then spent his last 24 years in Casa Grande, AZ. He was a veteran of World War II, a loving son, husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. Jack was an avid golfer. Making his last "hole-in-one" at the age of 85, he golfed into his 90s. He enjoyed spending time with his golfing buddies, family and building many clever solutions to the engineering problems presented to him. Jack was married to his wife JoAnn (Griffin) Zeleznikar for 50 years until her death in 2000. He was also preceded in death by his 11 siblings, Jennie Forneris, Mary Bachar, Joseph, Molly Trano, Angela Mantel, Frank Zelen, Frances Kosanovich, Walter, Robert, John, and Jerry. Jack is survived by his four daughters, Susan (Michael Mohs) Oleson, Lori (Martin) Lightner, Jane (John Giese) Zeleznikar, Patricia Zeleznikar; grandchildren, Nathan and Ben Oleson, Meggin (Oleson) Gregory, Dan Lightner, Jen (Lightner) Woodall, Andrew, Alex and Mackenzie Giese; great-grandchildren, Jack, Braeden, Eliana, Jeremiah, Hannah, Evie, Kate, Ian, Miles, Carter, Kyla, and Ella; brother-in-law Jim Griffin; sisters-in-law Lillian (Robert) Zeleznikar, Linda Fischer, Leslie Holen, Kathy Antonelli and many nieces, nephews and friends. Jack attended Duluth Central HS and Duluth Jr College. In June of 1943, Jack was called into service along with his brother Walt. It was the first time the brothers had left Duluth. He studied civil engineering in the AST (Army Specialized Training Program) at the University of Nebraska, trained new recruits in Louisiana and served throughout Europe as part of the 381st Engineer Combat Brigade. After WWII, Jack graduated from the U of MN with a degree in civil engineering. He worked for 35 years at the DM&IR Railroad, retiring as the Manager of Structural Engineering. Jack will be missed by many, but will remain in our hearts forever. Memorial mass to be celebrated this spring.