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Kevin Zalaznik

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Nov. 18, 1954 — April 23, 2024

Celebration of life services for Kevin John Zalaznik will be conducted at 3 p.m, Friday, May 3, 2024, at Sneakers in Spencer. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to People for Pets at 2312 Highway Blvd, Spencer, IA 51301.

Kevin, 69, passed away at home on April 23, 2024. He was born on Nov. 18, 1954, in Maquoketa. Spending his early years in eastern Iowa, Kevin moved to Spencer in 1961, and grew up here with his siblings.

Graduating from Spencer High School in 1973, Kevin went on to study business at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge. While in school, Kevin drove truck for his dad, and continued driving truck for many years after. In 1989, Kevin began a career in sales at the Barclay Company, and continued working there after its transition to Airgas. Kevin began freelance work after building his shop in 1992 and built a successful business. In 2007, he made a leap of faith and left Airgas to pursue his business full time. Kevin’s hard work and determination paid off as his business boomed. His attention to detail was unmatched and his creativity was remarkable. Clients were known to describe Kevin’s work as “thorough” and “sturdy” and “likely to outlast the house it was attached to.”

From a young age, Kevin’s work ethic was matched only by his devotion to his family. Kevin grew up close with his five siblings; Keith, Kent, Karen, Karla and Karol, and maintained a strong relationship with each of them into adulthood. One of the highlights of each year was hosting Thanksgiving, where family from all sides would converge on the Zalaznik home to celebrate. You could always find Kevin, Zeke and Moose in the garage carving the meat and fighting over the turkey butt. Kevin also made a point to attend the Zalaznik and Snyder family reunions whenever he could, and maintained a relationship with his extended family. No matter the relation, Kevin believed family was family.

In 1989, Kevin met Jenny, and they married on Aug. 20, 1992. With the marriage, Kevin was granted his bonus son, Drew, and in 1994, he welcomed his daughter, Katy, into the world. One of Kevin’s greatest joys was his Tuesday night “date night” with Katy. You would often find them at the movie theater with a large soda and a bowl of popcorn. Supremely sentimental, Kevin saved the ticket stub for every movie they attended. Kevin adored his grandkids and doted on them whenever he could. One particularly fun afternoon was spent riding around the backyard in a power wheels car he’d souped up with a lawn mower battery — it went fast!

When Kevin wasn’t working, he could be found at Sneakers having a cocktail with his friends. Many evenings were spent buying rounds, telling jokes, and sharing stories. He also enjoyed spending his spare time on the lake, going on trips with friends and family, and riding motorcycles.

By all accounts, Kevin was known for his kind heart, generosity, strong work ethic and integrity. He was a true friend to everyone who knew him. A life that touches others goes on forever.

Kevin was preceded in death by his father, John Zalaznik; mother, Phyllis Zalaznik; sister, Karla Zalaznik; sister, Karen Snyder, and niece, Lexa Zalaznik.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer; daughter, Katy Taylor (Grant); son, Drew Hjelm (Rebecca); his siblings; Keith (Pat) Zalaznik, Kent (Dixie) Zalaznik, Karol (Mark) Johnston, and Coleman (Susan) Baker; his six grandchildren: Amelia, Jason, and Natalie Taylor, and Nick, Maren, and Elizabeth Hjelm; and his beloved puppy, Izzy.

Arrangements by Warner Funeral Home of Spencer,

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