Jules Zinni, 93, died peacefully at Altenheim Senior Residence on Sept. 14, 2018 in Forest Park. Born Giulio Zinni on Dec. 2, 1924 in Springfield to Filippo and Maria Natale-Zinni, the family emigrated from Casalbordino, Italy in 1910 and made their way to Springfield to work in the coal mines. The family moved to Chicago in the 1930s, and Jules and his six siblings were brought up during the Great Depression, yet he always remarked that even though times were tough, there was always a big bowl of homemade pasta and a loaf of bread to share with family and any visitor who happened to stop by. Jules referred to himself as a “young punk” when he enlisted in the Marines at the age of 17, and he served for 3½ years on active duty in Japan during World War II.
With an honorable discharge as a corporal in the Second Division of the Marines, he married Dolores Bolek on Feb. 7, 1948. The couple had met at his going-away-to-war party, exchanged friendly letters during the years he was away, and the long-distance friendship evolved into a romance that lasted for 62 years when Dolores died 2010.
He began his professional career as a commercial artist, then picked up the skills and talent, absent any formal schooling, to become a successful architect and builder. In his senior years, he worked in construction management and development.
He was blessed with four grandchildren, Jules, James, Mia and Mary Frances. Grandma and Grandpa Zinni were known as the “super fans.” They spent weekends and summers driving from one sporting event to the next, making sure they never missed a soccer game, a swim meet or a softball game. He lived by the Marine motto, Semper Fi.
Jules Zinni was the husband of the late Dolores B. (nee Bolek); father of Philip (Etola), Paul (Vicki) and Mark (Maura); grandfather of Jules Gartner, Mia Katherine, Mary Frances and James Paul; brother of the late Peter, Ann, Loretta, Nick, Rosie and Phillip.
Visitation was held on Sept. 21, with funeral service on Sept. 22 at Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home in Forest Park. The family suggests memorials to the charity of your choice.