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Life Story / Obituary
Selfless beyond measure, Len Zoe lived his life to the fullest. A lover of all people, he made each and every person he met feel special. He modeled for others compassion and a humble heart for others in need. A hard worker and successful businessman, Len enjoyed abundant pleasures in life, yet his family was his greatest fortune. His generosity, as well as his love of his family, will be the treasured legacies he leaves behind. There is no doubt that he will be sincerely missed by his close family and many special friends.
The year 1956, was the year that Rock and Roll music swept the nation. Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time, with his current hit, "Heartbreak Hotel" which claimed the charts for eight straight weeks. That same year, Leonard Roger Jr. was born to Leonard and Marilyn Zoe on October 14, 1956, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His birth brought much joy and happiness into the family home.
A lifelong westsider, Len lived a typical childhood of the times. He attended Covell Elementary School where he was well liked by his classmates. He had many special memories of hunting small game as a young adolescent as well as fishing. Close with his father, he helped him build the family cabin in Bitely, Michigan which became an essential part of his growing years. Each hunting season they gathered there to bond together as a family, a tradition that lasted well into his adult years. Graduating with the Class of 1974 from Union High School, then graduating from Grand Rapids Community College in 1976, and finally attaining a Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in 1978, Len set off to pursue the working world.
Not to be forgotten was the marrying of his high school sweetheart, Sue Kossen, who also mothered their two wonderful children; Andrew and Holly. Although their marriage ended in divorce after fifteen years, they always remained a close-knit family. Len was immensely proud of his children and a faithful supporter of their every endeavor. He attended many of their special events at Kenowa Hills High School and helped them through college. Len loved to brag to his close friends about their many successes. As a father, his children knew they could always count on his wisdom and advice and that he would be there for them in their greatest time of need.
As the kids continued to grow, Len met the love of his life, Harriet Marlowe while he was doing laundry at the local laundromat. He was short a quarter on a load and Harriet happily gave him one and the rest was history! The two of them struck up a conversation and later dated long enough to realize their love for one another. Harriet had three children of her own as well as eight grandkids and four great-grandkids. On September 24, 1994, in Kingsford, Michigan, they joined their families together as one. Along with Harriet’s niece, Patty, and her groom, Mike Mortel, the two couples joined in marriage at the same venue on the same day! To continue to strengthen their bond as a blended family, Len and Harriet hosted a couple of meals each week in their home. They were blessed with many wonderful years welcoming more grandchildren and celebrating many special moments including each and every holiday together. Nothing brought him greater joy than the time Len spent with his family.
Len also held many special pastimes in addition to his work as a real estate broker and small business owner. He loved to immerse himself in good books. An avid reader, he especially enjoyed books by televangelist, Dr. Robert Schuller as well as any books written on finance. Active and always on the go, Len worked as a hobby! He loved to interact with people and never let the stress of his heavy business load get the best of him. Len enjoyed keeping up with current events and watched CNN daily. He also had a vast collection of model diecast cars as well as pets. He loved his wonderful dogs as well as his special cats and never went without a pet at home.
When it came to relaxation, Len loved to hang out with his close friends; Dianne and Rick, Jamie and Leslie, Dr. Jim, Dan and Todd. Len suffered from congestive heart failure for many years yet never let it define him. Sadly, he recently suffered an infection on his foot and a liver ailment. As his health began to diminish he was placed under Hospice care. Described as gentle, kind, intelligent, and dedicated to his family, Len will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved him.
Leonard ”Len” Roger Zoe Jr., aged 62, of Grand Rapids, Michigan passed away at his home on Sunday, October 13, 2019, with his family at his side. He was the only child of the late Leonard and Marilyn Zoe. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Harriet Zoe (Marlowe), his son, Andrew Zoe, his daughter, Holly (Brent Cotten) Zoe; mother of his children, Sue Zoe; Harriet’s children, Teresa (Donald) Elkins, Richard (Buffy) Schichtel, Annette Sandel; their 8 children and 4 grandchildren; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and many friends. Len worked in finance all his life. He was a gentle and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered. A service to celebrate Len’s life will be held on Friday, October 18 at 11:00 am at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Burial in Washington Park Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet his family at the funeral home on Thursday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm and again on Friday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. To sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.heritagelifestory.com