June 24, 1932 ~ January 4, 2020

Josephine “Phinee” Zak, 87-year-old resident of Little Falls died Saturday, January 4 at the St. Cloud Hospital. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 11 at 10:30 A.M. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls. A visitation will be held on Friday, January 10 from 4:00-8:00 P.M. and from 8:30-10:00 A.M. all visitation times will be held at Emblom Brenny Funeral Service in Little Falls. A Rosary will be said at 4:30 P.M. followed by the Little Falls American Auxiliary will pray at 5:30 and Parish Prayers at 7:00 P.M. on Friday evening at the funeral home. The burial will be held at the parish cemetery in Little Falls.

Josephine Kokett was born on June 24, 1932 in Little Falls to the late Martin and Anna (Kupka) Kokett. She attended country school in Swan River Township until the eighth grade. She then attended and graduated from St. Francis High School in Little Falls. She was united in marriage to Fred Zak on July 19, 1951 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Sobieski. The couple made their home on 12th Street SW in Little Falls for four years until moving to their home on 8th Street SW where she resided for over 65 years. Phinee drove school bus for 35 years and also bar tended part time at Herbie’s Bar in Sobieski. Fred and Phinee started West Side Recreation in 1970, where she served as the head book- keeper until her retirement in September of 2019. The family home was a place for the local neighborhood kids to gather. Phinee always made sure no one in the neighborhood went home hungry. She was active in her children activities serving as a Camp Fire Leader. She will be remembered for her giving heart, respect to others and hardworking ways. She had a strong faith and could be found either at daily mass or going to adoration Thursday’s and Sunday’s. She attended Our Lady of Lourdes Church serving as bookkeeper for over 20 and was always willing to help with the annual bazaar and was a member of the Christian Mothers, Daughters of Isabella, Polish Echoes and the quilting group. She served in many organizations throughout her life, the Morrison County Recreational Trail Administrator for over 35 years writing grants and taking care of the payroll, the District President of the American Legion Auxiliary. Phinee loved to cook serving many church luncheons and breakfast over the years, she always made the best chicken and waffles and coffee cakes. She loved winter, flowers, sewing, quilting, watching Fox News, the cooking channel and spending time with her family and friends especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Left to cherish her memory are her children, Geraldine (Jerry) Gilson of Coon Rapids, Kate (Roger) Davis of Little Falls, Thomas (Pamela) Zak of Randall, Jeanne (Mick) Green of Brainerd, Judi (Darrol) Ficek of Fort Ripley, Beverly (Mike) Gangl of Forest Lake, Kenny (Jean) Zak of Lakeville, Sharie Lineback of Jupiter, Fl, Fritz (Nancy) Zak of Little Falls, Mary (Doug) Bednarek of Little Falls, Patti (Doug) Strom of Centerville and Robert (Anita) Zak of Little Falls; grandchildren, Michelle, Matthew, Scott, Melissa, Leah, Tom, Nichulis, Brian, Ashley, April, Tyler, Hannah, Jenni, Michael, Jordan, Elizabeth and Abby and 14 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Martin and Anna Kokett; husband, Fred Zak on October 1, 1993; son-in-law, Thomas Lineback on October 7, 2019; siblings, Ben Kokett, Rose Kokett, Dorothy Rudolph, Clara Holtz and infant sisters, Bridget and Caroline Kokett.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to the Our Lady of Lourdes Kitchen Fund.