Obituary Donald George Zeilstra

Donald George Zeilstra, 86, of Pinehurst, NC passed away suddenly on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at his residence.  

Donald was born in Brookfield, IL on February 17, 1934 in the family home.  He was the oldest son of the late George and Winifred Moore Zeilstra.  

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 1:00PM at Boles Funeral Home – 35 Parker Lane, Pinehurst, NC 28374. COVID-19 guidelines will be observed.

As a youth, Don worked as a milkman for Gary Wheaton Dairy in suburban Chicago and part-time at Brookfield Zoo, cleaning and mucking enclosures.

When his family moved to Van Nuys CA in the early 1950s, he remained in Brookfield to help his Aunt Charlotte, recently widowed with two little girls.

He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in1955, completed Army boot camp in 1956 and married Betty Jean Bollhoffer April 7, 1956.  His infantry service was in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.  In October 1956, Betty joined him in Germany and they setup their first home together in an off-base apartment, at the top of 94 steps.

For about 8 months they had a fabulous time touring Europe during Don’s free time.  Skiing in Italy and German cathedrals during the winter and then a full-blown 3-week road trip in May.  This trip took them to northern Italy, Paris, Amsterdam, London and other places.  In June 1957, oldest child, Sharon Scotte was born. The return to the states was August 9, 1957.

After brief visits to Chicago and California relatives in late 1957, Don settled into a position as Associate Art Director for Field Enterprises, focused on their World Book product.  He commuted to the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago from their first ranch home in Lombard, IL and welcomed his first son, Steven Scott in 1962 and a second son, Stuart Donald in 1964.  With these additions to the family, which also included a boxer named Rip O’Fairfield, they were outgrowing that small ranch home. In 1966 Don and Betty built their third home together in North Barrington, IL.

While living in North Barrington, Don developed a passion for small-boat sailing, primarily the Butterfly, and travelled to regattas across the region. His home lake was Honey Lake, part of Biltmore Country Club.  This is where his favorite hobby – golf – began.

Volunteering was always a big part of life for Don. While in North Barrington, he was the Fire Commissioner for a few years, participated with Indian Guides and the Sunday afternoon boat races on Honey Lake.  He was always an avid Chicago Blackhawks fan and volunteered for many years with the Barrington Hockey League as a coach and a referee.  He was always focused on family, home, being an upstanding citizen who gave back to the community.

Don continued to commute to downtown Chicago until the early 1970s, when he struck out on his own to build a small advertising and graphic arts agency.  In the early 1990s, after their kids were grown, Don and Betty built their fourth home together in Pinehurst, NC.  In Pinehurst, their first home was in Pinewild, on the course, and semi-retirement meant he could play golf all that much more frequently.  After a dozen years or so, Don and Betty downsized into a smaller, more in-town home but golf continued.  Volunteering continued to be part of Don’s life, as he worked as a special event (golf tournaments and parades) volunteer and Citizen’s Patrol volunteer.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Bollhoffer Zeilstra; daughter Sharon Zeilstra of Apex, NC; son Stuart (wife Kathy) of Illinois; daughter-in-law Carol, and two grandchildren Atticus and Lauren Zeilstra. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son Steve in 2017; both of his younger siblings Donna Jean Zeilstra and Duane Zeilstra.

Online condolences may be left at:  

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email