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Jeanette Marilyn Zaeske


Jeanette Marilyn Zaeske passed away on Jan. 1, 2020, at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, surrounded by her family. Jeanette "Jan" was born on May 22, 1931, in Milwaukee, Wis., to Theodore V. and Ervilla E. (Dieterich) Johnson.
Upon graduation, Jeanette explored a modeling and singing career. After attending Patricia Stevens School of Modeling and cutting a "record", she decided that lifestyle was not for her. She considered fashion designing and created a portfolio, but did not pursue it as her work as a legal secretary at a Milwaukee law firm absorbed her daily life. She enjoyed city nightlife until she met the love of her life, a U.S. Marine named Karl Zaeske. At 26, after a brief courtship, they were married in Myrtle Beach, S.C., near Karl's Marine base. In 2014, they celebrated their 57th anniversary on the day of his passing, which was the most difficult day of her life, as she lost her soulmate.
Jeanette and Karl lived in the Milwaukee, Wis., area for several years before moving to California, Jeanette's paradise, then off to Cedar Rapids and Marion, Iowa, for many more years while Karl worked at Rockwell.
Retirement in 1997 moved Jeanette and Karl to Sarasota, Fla., for 17 years where they shared their passion for the ocean and sunshine. At Karl's passing in 2014, Jeanette returned to Iowa to live near her daughters. She lived in Keystone Cedars and Terrace Glen Village, making many friends and receiving excellent care.
Jeanette is survived by her three children with Karl: Ross Zaeske (Melissa) of Florida, Dana Nietert (Mark) and Cheryl Van Donslear (David) of Iowa; sister, Virginia Secor; two brothers-in-law, Frederick Zaeske (Jane) and Alan Zaeske (DeAnne); sister-in-law, Carol Rowe Zaeske; eight grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several amazing nieces and nephews scattered across the country.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Karl; brother, Theodore V. Johnson Jr.; her father and mother-in-law, Ernst F.W. and Dorothy (Koch) Zaeske; her brother-in-law, Kurt Zaeske; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Zaeske.
Services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home Chapel of Memories. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service. A reception will follow the service at the Cedar Memorial Family Center. Post-reception celebratory wake will be announced at the reception.
While Jeanette dearly loved receiving flowers, she would have also appreciated memorial donations to the American Cancer Society in memory and honor of her husband and son.
Online condolences may be left for the family at cedarmemorial.com.
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