Jan Keith Ocker age 83 of Kenosha passed away on January 5th, 2023 surrounded by his family who loved him. Jan was born in Beloit, WI on March 16, 1939, the son of Roscoe P. and Gladys H. (Reimer) Ocker. Jan married Linda Wieland in 1963 and they had four wonderful children. They later divorced. On August 13, 1994, he married Patricia (Roberts) Zarletti.
He graduated from Beloit Memorial High School in 1957 as vice president of his class. He earned a BA degree from Beloit College in 1961 and a Master’s degree in Education from UW-
Madison in 1963. He worked for several colleges in Wisconsin, including Beloit College, UWM, Marquette, Mount Mary and UW-Parkside, where he was a counselor and Director of Financial Aid for nearly 40 years, and retired as an Emeriti.
Jan wore many hats in his life and career, he was a milkman at a dairy farm, past president of Wisconsin Association of Financial Aid Administrators and UW-Parkside Emeritus retiring in 2013. He was a member of the National Arbor Day, Audubon and US National Parks Foundations. He was politically Independent, an Ornithologist, Botanist, Numismatist, Philatelist and Philanthropist. Jan enjoyed playing golf and gardening, and had numerous collections and loved crosswords, playing Bridge, history, parks, flowers, cats, reading and sports. Jan was very proud on his 80th birthday, as he was awarded several proclamations from Governor Evers, Kenosha Mayor Antaramian, Kenosha County Executive Kreuser and UW-Parkside Chancellor Ford for his dedication and service to students in higher education. Jan is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Patricia, his daughter, Marci Ocker (Dr. Michael Frank), sons, Steven, Robert (Denise) and James (Jennifer) Ocker, stepson, Jeffrey Zarletti (Tina Binotto); stepdaughters, Michelle Zarletti, Cynthia Zarletti Lee (Dale), grandchildren, Jace, Ava, Jaelyn and Emma Ocker and Nicholas Frank, Chase and Samantha Kosmicki, Kaila Zarletti, Hunter, Tanner and Bryce Lee, great Grandchildren, Karson, Jayce and Kamden and his cousin Leith Rohr and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Jan was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Kent and Neal, granddaughter, Natalie Zarletti, daughter-in-law, Margie Ocker and niece Teri Lyn Ocker.
Jan wants everyone to know he had a blessed life with a wonderful wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and extended family and friends. Their love and support were everything to him. Second was his 40-year career in education and the service to his students. Third was his stress-free hobbies that he enjoyed, especially with family. His motto was “The secret to LIVING IS GIVING!” Remember, money does not equal love and always smile. Along with that forever smile, Jan had a unique sense of humor. When reading his birthday cards out loud, he would often embellish the given words with his own spicy, naughty and funny additions. He liked to tease the grandkids calling them silly names such as “finkleberry” and “chuckabuggas.”
As his cousin, Leith said, “they don’t make men like Jan anymore.” His favorite quote was “The measure of a man’s success in life is not how much he has accumulated, but by how much he has given away. Jan will be missed by all who knew him.
Memorial services will be held on Friday January 13 th , 2023, at 12:00 noon in the Kemper Center Founders Hall. (6501-3rd Avenue, Kenosha WI) Visitation with the family will be on Friday in Founders from 10:00AM until the time of services. Memorials would be appreciated to either Safe Harbor Humane Society or Hospice Alliance.