Winston Levis Zeman, 89, of Melrose, passed away on November 21, 2021, at his home, after a brief battle with leukemia and aortic stenosis. He was born on September 23, 1932, in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Stephen P. and Vergie H. (Sander) Zeman. He was raised on the family farm in Irving Township, rural Melrose, and attended Cuffy Knob and Highland Grade Schools. He was a 1950 graduate of Melrose High School.
Winston served in the United States Navy from October 1951 to October 1955 and was a member of the VP-2 Aviation Squadron stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station near Oak Harbor, Washington. His squadron had two deployments to Kodiak Island, Alaska, and one deployment to the Iwakuni Marine Air Base in Japan during the Korean War.
Winston married Kathleen M. Collins on November 12, 1953, in Melrose, and they spent fifty-seven wonderful years together before her passing. After the Navy, they returned home to work the family farm with his parents.
Winston and Kathleen purchased the Rose Café in Melrose in 1964, and then Winston began his banking career in 1966 with the Bank of Melrose as a Farm Loan Officer. In later years he was a Director and the Executive Vice President of the bank, retiring in 1994. Upon retirement he said he would miss many of the bank customers that he had known over the years. He and Kathleen enjoyed traveling around the country and snowmobiling up north with their friends and family. Winston loved deer hunting with his family. In recent years, he and Ann traveled frequently, renewing friendships and seeing extended family members.
Winston was a long time, and loyal member of the Neil S. Lewison American Legion Post 439, and the Melrose United Methodist Church. In years past, he was a member of the old Melrose Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. For many years he served on the Melrose Village Board and was Village President for several terms.
Winston is survived by his dear friend Ann Nordstrom, his children Steve and Karla Zeman of West Salem, Cheri and Jerry Wild of Black River Falls, and Randy and Pam Zeman of Grafton. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Jenny and Greg Stenberg, Amy and Jeff Schanhofer, Megan and Bill Eddy, Kristin and Birk Cooper, Stephani and Lucas Lockington, Joe and Deana Zeman, Kelsey Zeman, and his fifteen great grandchildren to whom he was affectionately known as Buppa Winnie.
He was preceded in death by Kathleen, his parents, and his brothers Marvin and Ronnie.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at Melrose United Methodist Church with Reverend Roberta Nowicki officiating. Burial, with full military honors provided by Neil S. Lewison American Legion Post 439, will be held in Melrose Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday at Neil S. Lewison American Legion Post 439, Melrose and from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.