John Zientara

Obituary of John Joseph Zientara

John Zientara

August 20, 1946 – December 23, 2023

John passed away at his home in Oak Park Heights, MN, on December 23, 2023. He was born in Chicago, IL on August 20, 1946 to John and Agnes Zientara. He grew up in a Polish neighborhood surrounded by relatives in a close knit family.

John graduated from Kelly High School and Roosevelt Junior College in Chicago and then attended Moorhead State University in Moorhead, MN, graduating with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration. He became a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and remained in touch with his fraternity brothers throughout his life.

Shortly after his graduation, John was drafted by the U.S. Army. After completing his basic training he was stationed in Hawaii as a Legal Clerk. He was sure his good fortune was due to the fact that he had indicated his preferred duty location as Alaska.

John was discharged from the Army in 1972, and began his first “real job” in St. Paul as an internal auditor at the MN Highway Dept. It was there that he met his wife, Janice, and they were married on August 11, 1973. Two days after their wedding he began a new job at the IRS in St. Paul where he worked until his retirement. After retiring he volunteered as a middle school mentor and also worked as a volunteer at the Science Museum of MN.

John loved to travel and he and Janice criss-crossed the U.S. visiting everything from historic homes and Presidential libraries to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and Graceland. By far, John’s favorite destination was Disneyworld. On his 13th and final visit he was thrilled to be recruited to play the part of a ballerina at the Hoop-de-Doo Revue. He hammed it up in his pink tutu to the delight of the audience and his grandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Agnes Zientara, and by his mother and father-in-law Geraldine and Norbert Ackerman.

He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Janice, his children Justin Zientara (Chelsea Langer), and Jessica Carvelli (Dan Westley). Loving Grandpa to his grandchildren: Zachary, Maxwell and Grace Zientara and Jasmine, Nicholas, Jayna and Anthony Carvelli.

Also survived by his brother Joseph Zientara and his sister JoAnn Zientara.

Mass of the Christian Burial on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at the Church of St. Peter, North St. Paul at 11:00 am preceded by visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 at the church. Luncheon will be served at the church following the funeral.

Burial will take place on Monday, April 8, 2024, at 9:00 am at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

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