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1960 Joseph 2023

Joseph Robert Zinecker

August 30, 1960 — December 30, 2023

Joseph “Joe or Joe Z” Robert Zinecker, 63, a North Texas resident for over 30 years, passed away unexpectedly on a return flight from holiday in Europe on Dec. 30, 2023. His wife JoAnne was by his side.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Aug. 30, 1960, he was the oldest of five children to Jim and Ann Zinecker. Joe was a lifelong student, a prolific reader and well-versed in engineering, history and geology, just to name a few areas of his vast knowledge. He always joked that there were only three things he didn't know -- and one of those was that he didn't know what the other two things were.

Joe loved his family, learning, teaching, volunteering, rock collecting, camping and most of all, traveling the world alongside JoAnne. Joe met JoAnne while on a business trip in Illinois in 1984. Less than a year after meeting, they were happily married in the presence of many friends and family members. In the years that followed, they welcomed three rambunctious children into their lives. As the family got older and grew over time, he welcomed new members with enthusiastic love and commitment. He was the kind of man that if you knew him, you wanted to be more like him.

Joe instilled a passion for learning of all kinds into his children. He was an excellent cook and loved teaching his daughter Kate recipes, tips and tricks in the kitchen. He loved stargazing, pointing out constellations and using his telescopes to share close-ups of the moon and planets. He enjoyed reading, particularly historical fiction novels, and had a passion for ancient history and cultures. His love and zeal for the world and the stars were unending. His charisma was indomitable and his laughter was infectious. Whether at a social gathering with friends and family, in a meeting, or talking with strangers, he was the life of the party and the conversation. He was the best father, a friend to everyone, and an inspiration to all.

Joe was heavily involved in Boy Scouts with his son, Marcus, where he was a favorite Scoutmaster for dozens of Troop 421 scouts. He loved to share his passion for rockhounding, the outdoors and star-gazing. Joe volunteered in the geology program at Philmont Scout Ranch for several years, enthusiastically teaching geology, mining history, and his personal favorite: gold panning. To feed his voracious appetite for knowledge, he habitually read the world news. He loved trading headlines with his son and relished when he found one his son hadn't yet read.

Joe was pretty much always the smartest person in the room and he loved to share his knowledge and passions with everyone he met. His legacy is more extensive than even he realized and will live on in the love for science, food, history, and traveling he nurtured in his family and friends. He was the inspiration for many family members, including his youngest daughter, Abby, to pursue careers in engineering. Always the engineer, he lived his life with a rational mindset, yet prioritized personal happiness over cost.

Joe loved to volunteer to judge local and state school science fairs as well as participate in Habitat for Humanity projects. In addition to his generosity with his time and knowledge, he was also a member and benefactor to a long list of organizations for many years such as the Smithsonian, MD Anderson Cancer Center, The Nature Conservancy, The Planetary Society, Doctors Without Borders and others. Not to mention, he gave the best gifts at Christmas, as they often aligned with his numerous interests.

When asked about his career, Joe's colleagues mentioned that it was difficult to capture his true achievements because so much of what he accomplished is in the many lives that he touched. He began his career as a radar cross-section engineer working on aircraft, missile, and ground vehicle projects. He started at Texas Instruments but soon moved to LTV in 1985. He quickly progressed into increasing roles of responsibility including engineering technical lead, program manager and program director as he worked a variety of developmental ground vehicle and missile programs. He worked tirelessly to make his programs successful and was an exceptional mentor, teacher, and friend to all those who worked with him. He strived for excellence in everything he did and the skills and knowledge that he passed on to so many are a living legacy to his indomitable spirit.

After over 35 years of service at LTV/Loral/Lockheed Martin, Joe retired in January 2021 to work on something he always wanted to do: a PhD. At the time of his passing, Joe was working towards a PhD in geophysics at New Mexico Tech.

Joe is survived by JoAnne Zinecker, his wife of 38 years; his three children and their spouses: Kate & Three Zinecker-Carlson, Marcus & Katie Zinecker, and Abby & Joe Howard along with his parents, Jim & Ann Zinecker; his siblings, Pete & Kirsten Zinecker, Jim & Tricia Zinecker; Janet & Jack Bradshaw, Steve & Kathy Zinecker and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins as well as his beloved grandchildren, Milo and Oliver Zinecker, and his boys, the Border Collies.

A visitation will be held Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm at Blessings Funeral Home in Mansfield, Texas.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, Jan.13, from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at Shady Valley Country Club: 4001 W Park Row Dr, Arlington, TX 76013.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Doctors Without Borders, Catholic Charities or St. Jude Children's Hospital, Joe's favorite charities.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Robert Zinecker, please visit our flower store.

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

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