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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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June 5, 2023

2/21/2023 5:29:00 AM
Lester Emil Zunker

Lester Emil Zunker, age 80, of Rhinelander, died on Feb. 14, 2023, at his home with his loving family at his side. He was born on Sept. 7, 1942, in the Town of Wausau, the son of Lester George and Mabel I. (Marquardt) Zunker. He attended schools in Wausau, graduating from Wausau High School in 1960.

He then attended Wausau Technical Institute, graduating in 1963 with a degree in Accounting. Around this time Lester also served his country as a member of the United States Army.

Lester married the former Denise Gleason on Jan. 10, 2004 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander.

Lester began his working career early in life working as a paper boy and at the YMCA in Wausau. He was employed at one time by the Elks Club in Wausau and also for Wausau Homes. In 1977 he started Nicolet Temps in Rhinelander, which later became Nicollet Staffing. He operated that business until selling it in 2012. When the business was sold they had 10 offices throughout Wisconsin and Michigan.

Lester was involved with the Boy Scouts of America his entire life. He became an Eagle Scout at the age of 17 and later in life was awarded the Wood Badge which is the highest award given to adults through the Scouts.

Outside of Scouting, he had many interests. He ran track in high school and was a member of the Rib Mountain Bow Club. He enjoyed snowmobiling, fishing, trips to the cabin in Ladysmith and trips to Canada with family and his Canadian friends Rich, Curtis and Rob.

Lester is survived by his wife Denise, his daughter Cristine "Tina" (Gerald) Schmitz, his sons Timothy Zunker and Troy (Cathy) Zunker, his stepsons Nicholas Plouff and Nathan (Amanda) Plouff, his grandchildren Adam (Rachael), Nathan and Joseph Schmitz, Caitlyn, Marie, Alex and Jackson Zunker, his stepgrandchildren Samantha, Alexis, Marcus, Peyton, Taylor, Summer and Addison Plouff, his step-great-grandchild Noah Plouff, his brother Gerald Zunker, his former wife Roxine Zunker, other family and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter-in-law Tina Zunker.

Visitation for Lester will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023 from 10 a.m. to noon with funeral services following at noon, all at the Carlson Funeral Home. Chaplain John Uhlarik will be officiating.

Interment will be in the Newbold Cemetery at a later date.

You may leave your private condolences for the family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Zunker family.

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