Zielke was a founding member in the late 1980s of an informal gathering known as Group 21, made up of fleet managers in the northern Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin area.  -  Photo: Zielke family

Zielke was a founding member in the late 1980s of an informal gathering known as Group 21, made up of fleet managers in the northern Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin area.

Photo: Zielke family

Gerald “Jerry” F. Zielke, of Ettrick, Wisconsin, and former director of transportation for Siebe (formerly Barber Colman) passed away on Dec. 31, 2023, at 87. 

Zielke served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, retiring in 1974 as a master sergeant. After the Air Force, he joined Barber-Colman, an environmental controls firm headquartered in Loves Park, Illinois, which merged with Siebe plc in 1987. He retired from Siebe as director of transportation and travel in 1999. 

Jerry Zielke's Love for Photography, Model Airplanes, and Fleet Safety

According to his family, Zielke enjoyed photography and assembling model airplanes. He had an appreciation for classical music and the arts. As a lover of adventure and hiking, he was an early adopter of geocaching. Zielke raised chickens and enjoyed coffee from his beloved chicken coffee cup. 

Zielke was a founding member in the late 1980s of an informal gathering known as Group 21, made up of fleet managers in the northern Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin area. 

In his job in fleet, he had a keen focus on fleet safety. "Jerry was focused on safety before safety was 'sexy,'" writes Sue Miller, CAFM, formerly of Keebler, McDonald's, and Geotab.

Zielke is survived by his five children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years Elvina, “Ellie.”

A funeral mass with military honors was held on Jan. 6 in Genoa, Wisc.

About the author
Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Associate Publisher

As associate publisher of Automotive Fleet, Auto Rental News, and Fleet Forward, Chris Brown covers all aspects of fleets, transportation, and mobility.

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