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Zielinski, Raymond J. Jr. - April 11, 2020

On 11 April 2020, Holy Saturday, my father, my Dad and best friend, Raymond J. Zielinski, Jr. entered into his new life with the strength, bravery, and humor with which he lived. He is survived by an ever thankful daughter, Rene M. Zielinski, Honolulu, Hawaii and Sister Ellen, Las Vegas, NV and several nieces, nephews, and cousins in the Western New York region. He served 46 years as an autoworker and retired from the former General Motors, later, American Axel-Delevan Plant. He served proudly in the Seventh United States Army as a Specialist 4 during the Berlin Crisis driving tanks. My Dad lived life with great positivity, and was a very giving soul who had many friends and acquaintances. He was cantankerous, charismatic and was liked by everyone that crossed his path (well, maybe not everyone -he wasn’t one to mince words and put someone in their place loudly and proudly). There wasn’t an establishment that we would enter without at least one person calling out his name followed by a hearty exchange of handshakes and laughs. A lifelong car enthusiast and ‘Corvette man’ he enjoyed showing his car at local car shows and charitable events. Mugsy, his Boston Terrier and partner in crime, was always in tow wherever he went. While he was a connoisseur of fine foods and local restaurants, he and Mugsy most enjoyed a trip to Taffy’s to enjoy the food, the company, and drink some coffee out of his mug that was kept behind the counter. Tennis was his beloved sport and Dad was a long time member of Miller’s Tennis and Southtown’s Tennis Clubs and enjoyed playing at Chestnut Ridge with ‘the boys’ in the summer. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed testing out different tackle and lures. He also had a fine collection of ‘bait’ which is what he called his colognes and he generously applied it while getting decked out in the latest Nike threads. I learned more about musical genres, subgenres, and artists from my Dad than I could from any book or class – he especially loved jazz and knew every artist within hearing just a few notes. Everything was rated on Dad’s scale which was 1-10 (‘10’ being best), but he never gave a ‘10’ because, ‘…there is always room for improvement…’ Also, if you asked him for a favor or an opinion – everything, and I mean everything, cost three hundred dollars. He was funny, kind, sensitive, and compassionate, a very cool guy, and often expressed himself with expletives for effect which he wove like fine tapestry into his vernacular. As a father he made sure he taught me how to take care of myself in ways too numerous to list – he taught me how to survive this world and enjoy doing it. While he had numerous serious illnesses and conditions, he complained little and fought with determination and grace and taught me about real will and the power it has to carry us through life’s hardest times. This is one of life’s hardest times - We have lost a great man during a world crisis, that prevents us from memorializing him publically at this time, but his spirit and legacy are ethereal. Dad would want us all to make the best of a bad situation and remain positive, remember what makes us smile, and know that, in his words ‘… he is saving us all a place upstairs…’ Since dad passed on Holy Saturday just before Easter Sunday, I imagine when he arrived in heaven he high-fived Jesus and said ‘Hey ‘J’, where’s the pool?’ And. ‘You have a big day tomorrow, man!’ Beloved Pops, you will always be with us and thank you for being an amazing force, a shoulder, a friend, and for a lifetime full of happy memories and love. Rest in peace. A future notice will be published regarding a celebration of my father’s life upon the resolution of the Coronavirus-related restrictions regarding public gatherings and social distancing.

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Guest Book

04/16/2020

Dolly,Renee,&Family Accept our condolences on the passing of Raymond. The Zielinski Family -Joanne,Edwin II,Peter,Stephen,&Kathleen

Joanne Zielinski
Cheektowaga,N.Y. 14225

04/19/2020

We are so sorry for your loss RENE , Every time we saw your father he put a smile on our face. He was always a joy to talk to. You will be in our prayers 🙏♥️

Dorene and Ron Startek
Hamburg , NY
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04/25/2020

Rene’, You introduced me to your pops once, after you and I returned from an MIA mission to Vietnam. Your love and respect for each other was palpable. I was honored you thought enough of our friendship to introduce us. It’s true, I liked him immediately. Your eulogy was brilliant. He’s very proud of you. God bless you dear one.

Brad Sturm
Laguna Beach, California
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04/20/2020

Dear Rene, you are in my prayers. Your tribute to your dad was so beautiful. It showed how much you loved him. Blessings and love.

Joyce Sirianni
Youngstown NY
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04/26/2020

RIP RAY,I enjoyed your friendship at GM and axl you were one of the good ones.

G.Ailinger
Amherst,new york
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