Visitation will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park “Chapel of Chimes”
13235 W. Capitol Dr.,
Saturday, December 5, 2020, 1-3 PM
Service at 3:00 PM
Joseph “Joe” L. Zanotti (66) passed peacefully in his home October 29 after a short bout with cancer. He was blessed to feel the love and warmth that surrounded his bedside those last days, but the loving voices from those that went before him called out for him to join them in heaven.
Joe had a zest for life and people gravitated to his humor, wit, love for a good time, and storytelling. His smile was infectious and his laughter heartfelt. Joe was sincere, loving and kind and made those around him feel special and loved.
Joe had many interests but first and foremost, he loved spending time with and doting on his beloved wife, Terrie (Theresa) of 30 years. They enjoyed weekends walking and exploring the many great restaurants in their neighborhood as well as visiting many of the great food cities around the country and Italy. They shared the joy of cooking by entertaining family and friends and creating feasts that often featured one of Joe’s many famous Italian pasta sauces. Most of all, he enjoyed preparing lovely dinners just for the two of them.
Family was important to Joe and he was fortunate to have many beautiful, warm spirited and loving family that extended beyond his immediate family, including his wife’s family, and his many special “Cuz’s.
Joe often recalled many fond childhood memories dating back to his Grandpa’s garden and wine casks on Greely Street to the smell of Grandma’s homemade strudel and donuts on First Street. His parents, Leo and Anne Zanotti, created a warm and cozy home filled with love and laughter for Joe and his sister, Sandy (Przybylinski). They always opened their doors, arms and hearts to his extended family and to his last days, he remained very close to each of his many special cousins.
Sandy had three incredible children to whom Joe grew very close to and loved beyond words – John and Amy Przybylinski, Lisa and Scott Blank, and Laura and Gene Finn. They will treasure their rich history with “Unc” and will feel the void every family gathering where his presence will be missed. His six grandnieces and nephews also brought him much joy and pride as he watched them celebrate each of life’s milestones and saw each of them develop into beautiful young adults. He will miss not being part of what is yet to come. And of course, his honorary brother and sister, Jim Kirchen and Sharon Weber along with their spouses, Ann and Mike, were part of many crazy and joyous times in Joe’s life.
Joe equally adored and loved Terrie’s family and said repeatedly that he could never ask for better in-laws; they were as much his family as was his. Bonnie (Vogel) and Lyle Klockow brought the family together often and they made each holiday special. Their home was the scene of many a ferocious canasta and poker games, but most of all, lots of love and laughs. He and his sister-in-law, Wendy Kopplin, were the catalyst of all mayhem at family gatherings. Wendy followed Joe to heaven just a few days after his passing and we figure it was so that they could continue to stir the pot while shining down upon us!
Joe leaves behind Wendy’s loyal, loving husband, John Kopplin, along with their three witty and thoughtful adult children Tyler (wife Beth and son Calvin), Kayleigh Kopplin and Jordan Kopplin; Terrie’s big-hearted brother Jayme and Dawn Klockow along with the dynamic duo of Emma and Karmyne; and her older brother Monte and Sheila Klockow with their amazing “Colorado Family”, Rhiannon and Scott Cochran (plus five), Nathan, and Corey and Lacey (plus four). His nieces, nephews, grandnieces/nephews gravitated to him because he loved to listen to their thoughts, partake in their antics, discuss their futures, and make them laugh, and in return they brought him much delight.
Joe had many favorite annual events including his family’s bagna càuda gathering on Christmas Eve, the Vogel Family Christmas celebration, sausage making where he was Lee’s concigliere, and last, but not least, he wouldn’t miss spring ball in Florida where he clearly was the #1 fan, instigator, sideline manager, batting coach and umpire antagonist for every game, which created lasting memories with John, JP, the rest of the family and team.
Wherever Joe went, he made fast friends, he gathered them from every walk of life. Any opportunity to get together with special friends or crash Terrie’s Girl’s Night was certainly going to be a night to remember. Joe created beautiful memories, hysterical moments, and enduring bonds everywhere he went.
Joe served his country both in the military and working for the Department of Defense and USPS. He was proud of his accomplishments as the Wisconsin State Representative and Arbitration Advocate for the Mail Handlers Union and continued warm-hearted relationships with many he worked with and served.
Joe left government work to become one of the city’s most beloved and respected night club owners and operators of Club Havana, Bad Genie, Riverwalk Bistro and Fanatics. To this day, his Havana Boys and staff still reach out to reminisce and laugh about the tough but gentle person Papa Joe was to each of them.
The life of the party may have left us, but we will never stop hearing his laugh or remembering his stories. This world will always seem a little emptier and quieter, but the bagna cauda and card tables in heaven just got a little louder and a whole lot more fun.
Joe’s family would like to express their sincere appreciation for all the prayers, cards, visits, messages, and many other acts of kindness shown during the time of his brief illness and passing.
Visitation will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park “Chapel of Chimes”, 13235 W. Capitol Dr., on Saturday, December 5, 2020, 1-3 PM with service to follow. Due to Covid-19 and for the health and safety of all, social distancing and face coverings are required. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Melanoma Foundation are appreciated.
Heritage Funeral Homes is Serving the Family