John  Zehnder, Sr.

Obituary of John Herman Zehnder, Sr.

John Herman Zehnder, Sr., age 74, of Manhattan, IL, passed away Thursday, March 17, 2022. He was born November 5, 1947 in Chicago, IL to the late Mary Alice (nee. Occhiuzzo) and Herman John Zehnder, Sr.

John raised his family in the south suburbs of Chicago where he was a proud member of the Local 710 Teamsters Union.

His love and pride in his family was evident in everything he did. He was a lifelong fisherman and shared his love of the sport by teaching his children and grandchildren at the neighborhood pond, local lake and  during his annual fishing trip to the Wolf River in Fremont, Wisconsin.

During his teenage years, he developed a love for all things cars, most of all drag racing. His passion for drag racing was shared with his brothers with whom he spent countless hours in the garage and weekends at area dragstrips including: Oswego Drag Raceway, Union Grove Raceway, Byron Dragway, US-30 Drag Strip and Route 66 Raceway.

He was a die-hard Cubs fan and celebrated their World Series victory with delight.  

John was a loving husband of 54 years to his wife, Linda Ruth (nee. Harris) Zehnder; he was a proud and devoted father to John Herman (Jody) Zehnder, Jr., Kristie Lynn (Eugene “Geno”) Smid, and James Thomas (Xiang “C” Xie) Zehnder; he cherished his grandchildren, Megan Irene, Zachary John, and Ryan James Zehnder, Caleb James and Jillian Dana’e Hutson, Foster Grayson and Morgan Allene Smid, and Abbie Olivia Zehnder-Xie;  he adored his great-grandson, Owen Russell (Zehnder) Bean; he was a loving big brother to Joseph (Mary) Zehnder, Tina (Bruce) Deutscher, Mary (Walter) Fox and Herman (Karen) Zehnder, Jr.; he had a special fondness to his Aunt, Angie (Rudy) Regalado and was blessed with many nieces, nephews and dear friends.  John was truly loved by all who knew him.  

While we will miss him dearly, it gives us great comfort knowing that he has been reunited with his Mother, Father and all of our dearest family and friends who have passed before him.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, 2755 Commercial St. SE, Suite 101, Salem, OR 97302.

Memorial Visitation for John H. Zehnder, Sr. will be Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black (at Essington) Roads, Joliet, IL.  Interment private.

For more information please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at where you can share a favorite memory or leave a condolence.


Memorial Visitation

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Fred C. Dames Funeral Homes - Joliet
3200 Black at Essington Roads
Joliet, Illinois, United States
(815) 741-5500

Memorial Donations

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, 2755 Commercial St. SE, Suite 101 Salem, OR 97302.
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