Heaven's arms opened wide to receive Elaine "E" Marie (Zwart) Zunker on April 22, 2019. Elaine passed into eternity at the age of 80 surrounded by her loved ones in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. Elaine was born to John and Anne (Markus) Zwart on April 30, 1938 in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. Elaine spent her childhood in Wisconsin, but later moved with her family to La Puente, California where she graduated from high school in 1956. Shortly thereafter, Elaine's high school sweetheart Manferd (Manny) Zunker from Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin pursued and proposed to her. The two were later married in California on October 6, 1957. Within three short years, the couple returned to Sheboygan Falls to begin running the family business, Manny's Automotive Service. Three daughters quickly followed; Kim, Aimee and Tanya. Elaine invested her love, energy and devotion into her callings as wife and mother along with serving faithfully as Manferd's business partner and bookkeeper for 52 years. Elaine and Manny's marriage was a lifetime love story.
Though many miles separated Elaine from her extended family, she kept them close at heart through phone calls, letters and prayers. Trips to visit her dear family members in California and Oklahoma provided a treasury of special memories that fed Elaine's heart for years after each visit. Elaine proudly showed off updated family photos of her siblings, nieces, nephews and their sweet babies as the years passed by.
Elaine had a flair for all things beautiful, including interior decoration, remodeling and landscaping. Elaine's gift of hospitality was expressed in her lovely home which was always a welcome place for family and friends to gather. She was an avid reader, collector of glassware, dolls, books, all things 50's and old photos. Elaine also enjoyed serving the family of God in her local church, camping with the family, gardening, canning, gospel and country western music, polka dancing, her family genealogy, thrift shopping, playing Canasta and exploring the history of her favorite small town, Sheboygan Falls.
Elaine's most life-changing moment came when she surrendered her life to Jesus Christ in 1973. After losing her dear father in 1969, Jesus made his mercy and grace real to Elaine, and he met the deep need of her heart. A scripture she treasured is found in Revelation 3:20, "Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with Me." Elaine spent the rest of her life growing her relationship with Christ. She also had a passion for sharing the love of Jesus and often could sense the deep spiritual needs of others so similar to her own prior to coming to know Christ in a personal way. Elaine treasured the many spiritual conversations she had with dear family and friends and celebrated when each came to know Christ in a personal way. Her recent passing gave her the greatest treasure of all, meeting her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, face to face.
Elaine is survived by her husband of 61 years, Manferd; her three children, Kim (Dennis) Strysick of Sheboygan Falls, WI, Aimee (Douglas) Orem of Rockford, Il, and Tanya (Dean) Freimund of Barron, WI; her four grandchildren, Hannah (Jonathan) Mendez, Gabriel (Andrea) Orem, Alexandra (Justin) Navis, and Branden Strysick. She was looking forward to the birth of her first great-granddaughter in July. She is also survived one beloved sister, Julee (Dick) Bernier of Fullerton, CA, brother-in-law, Mike Day of Owasso, OK and a "sister of the heart", cousin Alice Klein-Wassink of Beaver Dam, WI as well as numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
Elaine is preceded in death by her beloved parents, her brothers John Allen and Richard Zwart, sisters Dorothy Day and Carrie (Kyro) Bales as well as brothers-in-law Ronald (Carrie) Kyro and Virgil (Carrie) Bales and sisters-in-law Vera (Richard) Zwart and Carol Zunker Whitten.
Elaine was a special gift to all who knew her. She will forever be remembered for her compassionate heart, keen mind, strong work ethic, creativity, listening ear, warm sense of humor and love for God. From the time Elaine's daughters were young, she made time to listen to and nurture each one to become a strong woman of God. After each one left the nest, Elaine continued to encourage each child long into their adult years. Each conversation left a deposit of love that her children, sons-in-law and grandchildren will carry with them for a lifetime.
Elaine's family wishes to extend much gratitude to the many helping hands at Pine Haven that faithfully served Elaine during the final years of her life. Elaine found rich community and a circle of love at Pine Haven and regularly shared the way God extended his comfort to her through the caring hearts and hands surrounding her at Pine Haven. Elaine's family would also like to thank the staff and volunteers of Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice who spent time with Elaine during her final months of life.
A celebration of Elaine's loving life will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3:30 PM at Christian Life Assembly of God, 300 Rustic St., Plymouth with Pastor Richard York officiating. The family will greet visitors on Sunday, at church, from 1:30 until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Elaine's name.
300 Rustic St
Plymouth , WI 53073
300 Rustic St
Plymouth , WI 53073
Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085