Willard J. ZakJune 25, 1943 ~ March 22, 2017 (age 73)
Willard John Zak, 73, of Baileys Harbor, passed away Wednesday afternoon, March 22, 2017 at Waukesha Memorial Hospital with his family at his side.
He was born June 25, 1943 in Door County, the son of Flavian and Marion (Appel) Zak. Willie graduated from Gibraltar High School in 1961 and went on to study to become a barber. He completed his apprenticeship at John Kinjerski’s Barber Shop in Sturgeon Bay (formerly located on Third Avenue). Willie opened Zak’s Barber Shop in Baileys Harbor on December 11, 1969 and eventually became known as the “Harbor Barber.” After nearly 50 years of cutting hair, he hung up his scissors in 2016.
Willie served his county with the United States Army through the Reserves, entering on April 24, 1967 and serving until his honorable discharge on December 31, 1972.
On October 7, 1967, he married Sally Ann Koepsel at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Baileys Harbor. They were blessed with over 49 years of marriage.
Willie was a lifelong resident of the Town of Baileys Harbor and a devoted community member. He served with the Baileys Harbor Fire Department for 37 years, some of that time as the Assistant Fire Chief. Willie also served as Town Treasurer in the 1970s and together with Sally, put in many hours late at night, during holidays, and also on the weekends to help community members complete and receive their tax and financial records.
He enjoyed traveling to Mexico as well as a special vacation to Hawaii with his siblings and their spouses. In recent years, Willie and Sally spent extended time in Florida, making memories with family and friends. He was an avid deer hunter and always looked forward to “being in deer camp” with his family. Willie loved his country and took pride in flying the American flag. He always treasured the time spent with each of his clients and never passed on an opportunity to have a beer or bloody mary with his friends and family.
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Sally; two sons, Brian (Kelly) of Baileys Harbor and Bruce (Tracy) of Greenville; four grandchildren, Aaron (Jenna) and Cameron, and Ryker and Kaitlin; sister and brother, Karon (Gerald) Kita of Fish Creek and James (Ruth) Zak of Green Bay; sister-in-law, Joyce Zak of Oshkosh; siblings-in-law (Sally’s siblings), Suzanne (Gerald) Daubner, Donald (Donna) Koepsel, Dennis (Melissa) Koepsel, and Karrie (Kevin) Oram; many dear nieces and nephews; and friends.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Eldred and Mildred (Kemp) Koepsel; and his brother, Thomas.
A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2017 Stella Maris Parish-Baileys Harbor site with Willie’s longtime friend, Fr. Robert Burnell as celebrant. Firefighter and Military Honors will be provided with burial following a St. Mary’s of the Lake Cemetery.
Visitation for family and friends will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017 at Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay and will continue at the church, Saturday morning, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Willard’s honor to his family in support of the Baileys Harbor Fire Department and First Responders.
Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Willie may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.
OBITUARY PHOTO CREDIT: Len Villano