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Charlene A. Zukaitis

Charlene A. Zukaitis

October 10, 2016

Charlene Ann Zukaitis, 98, died October 10 at home in Eau Claire, surrounded by her family.

Charlene was born September 7, 1918, in Superior, to Frank and Charlotte Blassingham.  She graduated from Cathedral High School in Superior in 1936, and the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul in 1940. 

Charlene married Frank J. Zukaitis on June 16, 1941.  They started their married life teaching in LeCenter, MN, where she taught home economics.  After the birth of their first child, Charlene was a stay-at-home mom until returning to the classroom as a substitute teacher in the Eau Claire area in 1974. 

Charlene was a member of the Sacred Heart Auxiliary Board, St. Catherine’s Alumni Association, a volunteer in the Critical Care Unit at Sacred Heart Hospital, a founding member of Birthright’s Eau Claire Chapter, and a member of the Immaculata Ladies Society.  She was a golfer, a tennis player, and a member of two bridge clubs. 

Our Mom was a gracious hostess who delighted in opening our home to family and friends. Her holiday celebrations were filled with tradition, wonderful cuisine, and a festive ambiance of love, laughter and song.  Charlene’s life was one of grace, love, joy, and wisdom.  She managed a large family without missing a beat, and others in her life were welcomed and cherished.  She often stated, “The best thing I ever did was have my family.”  Her spirit lives on through those fortunate to have been touched by it.

Charlene is survived by her six daughters, Kathy Grinsel (David), Judy Perkins (Larry), Cindy Dahl (Kirk), Michele McCormick (Bob), Laurie Zukaitis, and Teri (McDaniel) Sullivan (Joel), plus daughters-in-law Joan Zukaitis Mathisen (Tim) and Sue Zukaitis.  She is also survived by 18 grandchildren:  Tony Zukaitis, Marti Zukaitis Curtis (Kevin), Jennifer Grinsel Borths (Jeff), Jodi Grinsel Clifford (Sean), Mark Grinsel (Michelle), Jason Perkins, Jamie Perkins (Teresa), Lucas Zukaitis (Mary), Jill Zukaitis Pink (Jason), Emily Dahl Willems (Kevin), Jefferson Dahl , Alexander Dahl, Molly McCormick Navarre (Tony), Ryan McCormick, Danny McCormick, Casey McDaniel (Kaitlin), Charlene McDaniel and Caitlan McDaniel.  She was the loving great-grandmother to Case and Kennedy Curtis, Ellie, Anya and Neve Clifford, River and Seaenah Grinsel, Anna, Will and Keri Perkins, Taylor and Dillion Zukaitis, Stella Pink, Jack, Charlotte, Lucille and Amelia Willems, Adeline and Cayden Navarre and Mallory McDaniel.  She is further survived by step-grandchildren Hannah (Julian) and Matthew Sullivan, step-great-grandchild, Judah Ehlert, sister-in-law, Rosemary Zukaitis, and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank (2000) and sons Jimmy (1978), Ricky (1995), David ((1951), father Frank Blassingham (1939), mother Charlotte Courture Blassingham Wilkins (1968), brother Jack (1932), sisters-in-law Angie Bronson and Pauline Donnick, and her four brothers-in-law Edward, Anthony, Raymond and Daniel Zukaitis.

The Zukaitis family deeply thanks Mom’s daytime caregiver of eleven years, Deb, and the outstanding staff of St. Joseph’s Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Regis Foundation, 2728 Mall Drive, Suite 200, Eau Claire, Wi 54701 or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.Org).

Mass of Celebration will begin at 5:50 pm on Monday, October 17, 2016 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1712 Highland Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701 with Father Don Meuret officiating.  Visitation will take place at the church on Monday afternoon from 3:30 pm until the time of service. Committal service will take place at 9 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.fullerspeckienhulke.com.

Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


Visitation will take place on Monday, October 17, 2016 from 3:30 pm until the time of service at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.


Funeral service will begin at 5:50 pm on Monday, October 17, 2016 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Eau Claire with Father Don Meuret officiating.