Zorka DeFreeuw

Obituary of Zorka DeFreeuw

Zorka Helen (Voynovich) DeFreeuw, or “Z” as many knew her, of Sun City Center, FL, and formerly of South Bend, IN, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 13. She was 86.

Z will be missed by her husband of 60 years, Ken; sons Michael (Patti) and James (Diana); grandchildren Meghan, Eric, Alex, Stephanie and Kelli; and great grandchildren Lily, Paige, Luke and Charlie. She is now reunited with her infants Kenneth and Kelley Sue, her parents John and Helen Voynovich, and brothers Peter, Michael and Steven Voynovich.

Among others grieving her death are the store manager at Beall’s Outlet Store (we hope they will survive the impact from a drop in their sales), and the casino where she enjoyed throwing away her kid’s inheritance.

Z was a stay home Mom until her boys went to school. Then came December 29, 1979 - a day that changed her life. That day she was named Senior Staff Assistant for the Notre Dame Athletic Department. This gave her the opportunities to tell every coach what she thought of their skills (or lack thereof!) and what to do to win more games. Many of the athletes, especially her beloved football players, became “sons” to “Mama Z” as most called her. She retired in February, 1998. A more passionate Notre Dame sports fan would be hard to find. Among her very last spoken words were “I hope Notre Dame does good this season. I think I would like this new coach.” That is saying a lot. Good luck Coach Freeman. She’s watching you.

A memorial mass will be held on March 1 at 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City Center. A luncheon for friends and family will be held 12-2 pm at the Kings Point Clubhouse. Later this summer a Celebration of Z’s Life will be held in South Bend. Z wanted her life celebrated so we are asking that no black be worn to her memorials be colorful, just like her. And if you have a Notre Dame shirt, please wear it! She would love that.

If you would like to celebrate Z and her life, in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to LifePath Hospice, 3723 Upper Creek Drive, Ruskin, Florida, 33573. The staff there took great care of the “elegant lady with the beautiful white hair” as they called her.

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