Anthony Joseph Zaehringer (Zähringer), age 86 of Westfield, WI, died in his bed surrounded by family on Thursday, March 24, 2022. He had been suffering from Alzheimer for the past few years. Although we all miss him, we find solace in the knowledge that he is at peace now in Heaven with all those that have gone before him and his beloved German Shepherds.
Anthony did not go by old fashion sentiment and social standards. His friends all called him Tony. He was quick to laugh and tell jokes like “What is Tony spelled backwards… Y NOT.” If he liked you, you became family. If he didn’t, then you knew to keep your distance. He saw the world as black and white with only varying bits of gray. He took great pride in his family and protected them at all costs. He was a good son, a loyal brother, and a loving husband, father and grandfather.
Tony was born on February 12,1936 in the German area of Pardan in Banat, Yugoslovia to Anna (Feigl) and Johann Zähringer. While still not a teen, he and his family were tested beyond measure. During this time, Tony grew up very quickly, strengthened his resolve and became fiercely protective of his family. In 1956, Tony, along with his younger brother, Franz Joseph (Frank), and his parents immigrated to Iowa, via the Franz family sponsorship. Eventually, the family joined other family members in Chicago. Tony enlisted in the Army right after high school, earning his citizenship, along with structure and focus. He was part of the elite 10th Mountain Division, parashooting into enemy territories and completing many missions that are still to this day stamped classified. Tony was extremely proud of being an Army Veteran and wore an Army coat and hat to prove it.
Upon receiving honorable discharge, he worked for the Hertz Corporation where he met and married the love of his life, a then 19-year-old Karen Sue Hartz. After marrying, they settled in the north side of Chicago, raising two children, John and Heidi. Later moving to the near western suburb of Westchester.
Tony held many jobs before forming Hartz Enterprises, Ltd. and becoming a successful entrepreneur. The family enjoyed escaping to their vacation home in Westfield, Wisconsin where they hunted on their land and enjoyed many friendships. Later, Tony and Karen retired to Westfield to be closer to their daughter and their 3 grandchildren.
Tony is survived by his wife, Karen; his son, John (Joy); daughter, Heidi (Tom); four grandchildren, AJ Klapoetke (Courtney), Anna Galloway (Justan), Alexandra Klapoetke and Johnny Zaehringer; three great grandchildren, Jaxon and Alayna Galloway and Zoe Klapoetke. Tony is predeceased by his parents, Anna and Johann and his brother, Frank.
A funeral service for Tony will be held on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. at Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home, 519 S. Charles St., Westfield with Father Savio Yerasani officiating. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the hour of service. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery, Town of Springfield (Westfield) with full military honors. Immediately following, all are welcome to gather across the street at the Springfield Town Hall, W8094 Duck Creek Ave., for lunch and to celebrate Tony’s life. Along with refreshments, there will be an abundance of photos and memorabilia from Tony’s life journey to enjoy. This is not a solemn occasion but one of merriment because no one loved a party more than Tony did!
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