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Thomas Peter Zonsius Obituary

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Thomas Peter Zonsius

Madera, California

May 17, 1955 - August 8, 2022

Thomas Peter Zonsius Obituary

Thomas Peter Zonsius, a longtime resident of Madera passed away August 8, 2022 after an eight-year gallant fight with neuroendocrine cancer.

Tom was born in Canada to French Canadian parents and adopted as an infant through Catholic Charities by Peter Bartzen Zonsius and Barbara Schreiner in Chicago, Illinois.

He graduated from Saint Vincent de Paul High School in 1973 and joined Saint Mary of the Barrens seminary in Perryville, Missouri. After attending for a year, he decided to join the Air Force where he was on active duty for six years working on classified telecommunication projects. He met and married his former wife Eileen Collins and had one child, Nicole, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. After active-duty, Tom joined the Air Guard where he served another 20 years. In 2003, Tom met and married Claudia Mello and they were very happily married until his death.

Tom was always giving and served others selflessly. In his heart, he was always the teacher. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) serving in many official positions, was on the foundation for the Veterans Home of California – Fresno and worked with the Fresno and Madera County Veterans Treatment Court to help support and mentor veterans. He also cherished spending time with friends sharing good wine and cheese.

Tom loved the Chicago Cubs, computers, nature and pets. Cats and dogs were drawn to him. He liked to explore caves which he often did while living in the Midwest. He was a ‘witcher’, always willing to help friends find water on their land. He always gave sound advice to friends and loved supporting fellow veterans. Many friends describe him as being generous, conscientious, caring, patient and understanding, but most importantly, always willing to help.

Tom is survived by his loving wife of 19 years, Claudia, daughter Nicole (husband Bob Kaelblein), mother Barbara and sister Mary Lou Waechter.

He is preceded in death by his father Peter B. Zonsius and first wife Eileen. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date at the Madera Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1981.

For more information, contact Jay Chapel Funeral Home, 1121 Roberts Ave, Madera, CA 93637, (559) 674-8814 or jaychapel@jaychapel.com.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Tom’s favorite organizations:

VFW Post # 1981
2026 N Granada Dr, Madera, CA 93637

American Red Cross
1300 W Shaw Ave #4B, Fresno, CA 93711

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Thomas Peter Zonsius hosted by Jay Chapel Directors.

Thomas Peter Zonsius, a longtime resident of Madera passed away August 8, 2022 after an eight-year gallant fight with neuroendocrine cancer.

Tom was born in Canada to French Canadian parents and adopted as an infant through Catholic Charities by Peter Bartzen Zonsius and Barbara Schreiner in Chicago, Illinois.

He graduated from Saint Vincent de Paul High School in 1973 and joined Saint Mary of the Barrens seminary in Perryville, Missouri. After attending for a year, he decided to join the Air Force where he was on active duty for six years working on classified telecommunication projects. He met and married his former wife Eileen Collins and had one child, Nicole, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. After active-duty, Tom joined the Air Guard where he served another 20 years. In 2003, Tom met and married Claudia Mello and they were very happily married until his death.

Tom was always giving and served others selflessly. In his heart, he was always the teacher. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) serving in many official positions, was on the foundation for the Veterans Home of California – Fresno and worked with the Fresno and Madera County Veterans Treatment Court to help support and mentor veterans. He also cherished spending time with friends sharing good wine and cheese.

Tom loved the Chicago Cubs, computers, nature and pets. Cats and dogs were drawn to him. He liked to explore caves which he often did while living in the Midwest. He was a ‘witcher’, always willing to help friends find water on their land. He always gave sound advice to friends and loved supporting fellow veterans. Many friends describe him as being generous, conscientious, caring, patient and understanding, but most importantly, always willing to help.

Tom is survived by his loving wife of 19 years, Claudia, daughter Nicole (husband Bob Kaelblein), mother Barbara and sister Mary Lou Waechter.

He is preceded in death by his father Peter B. Zonsius and first wife Eileen. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date at the Madera Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1981.

For more information, contact Jay Chapel Funeral Home, 1121 Roberts Ave, Madera, CA 93637, (559) 674-8814 or jaychapel@jaychapel.com.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Tom’s favorite organizations:

VFW Post # 1981
2026 N Granada Dr, Madera, CA 93637

American Red Cross
1300 W Shaw Ave #4B, Fresno, CA 93711

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Thomas Peter Zonsius hosted by Jay Chapel Directors.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Thomas Peter Zonsius.