2012-04-05 / Obituaries

Joseph W. Zuke

Joseph W. Zuke, 86, a lifelong resident of Biddeford, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, on Friday, March 30, 2012, at Seal Rock Health Care Facility in Saco.

He was born in Biddeford on Aug. 22, 1925, the son of the late Julius and Mary (Donasawich) Zuke. Joe attended local schools and graduated from Biddeford High School in 1943. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country during World War II. After the war in 1946, Joe returned to Biddeford and went to work for the A & P Tea Company.

On July 4, 1953, Joe married the love of his life, Lorette Roberge, at St. Ignatius Church in Sanford. Joe and Lorette together raised three sons, William, Robert and Thomas. As a young man he loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and hen clamming. He spent many years coaching Little League and teaching his sons the sports of baseball, football, fishing and hunting. He took great pride in maintaining his property along with his sisters.

Joe was passionate and very active in the politics of his beloved city of Biddeford. He served under six mayors on the Biddeford City Council from 1972 to 1990: Gilbert Boucher from 1972 to 1973; Lucien Dutremble from 1974 to 1977; Martin Reilly from 1982 to 1983; Robert Farley from 1984 to 1985; Michael Cantara from 1988 to 1989; and Bonita Belanger from 1989 to 1990. He was influential in making Biddeford Pool Beach public under Gilbert Boucher’s administration. Joe remained with A&P for 40 years, retiring in 1986. He was a member of the American Legion. In retirement, Joe loved to cook, read and watch the Red Sox. He kept a large vegetable garden and shared its bounty with friends and family. This became years of competition between him, his sister Mina and niece Julie. A loving grandfather, he took great joy in attending his grandchildren’s athletic activities and family events.

Joe was predeceased by his son, William J. Zuke, who died from ALS in 2007 and his brother, Julian Zuke, from Middleburg, Va., in 2011.

He is survived by his loving wife, Lorette Zuke, of 58 years; his son, Robert J. Zuke and his wife, Linda (Madore), and three sons, Julian, Joseph and Wyatt of Arundel; His son, Thomas J. Zuke and his wife, Nannette (Nero), and their three children, Jared, Benjamin and Lydia of Saco; daughter-in-law Marya (Johnson) and two sons Zachary and Joshua of Cincinnati, Ohio; and a sister, Mina Zuke Lomac, 94, of Biddeford, who still resides in the Zuke family home. He had many loving nieces and nephews.

A Liturgy of the Word was celebrated at St. Joseph Church of the Good Shepherd Parish in Biddeford. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Biddeford.

Joe’s family would like to thank the staff at Seal Rock Health Care Facility for all the care and compassion they extended to Joe. Memorial Donations in Joe’s name may be made to: St. Mary’s Cemetery, P.O. Box 391, Biddeford, ME 04005 or a charity of one’s choice. To share condolences online, please visit www.hopememorial.com.

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