I’m not sure if every writer feels this way when asked to write a remembrance or eulogy for someone who has passed, but I find that my heart is full but words are in short supply.
Bob Zielinski was no stranger to Louisville Metro audiences, having performed with Little Colonel Players, Shelby County Community Theatre, Bunbury Theatre and others, not to mention that he also quietly worked behind the scenes at many of these same local theatres.
I had known Bob for years even before he came to work for Pandora because his daughter Julie had done several shows for us in our early years. Pandora was not only one of the companies for which Bob acted, he also served as a board member, box office manager (with wife Betty), stage manager, props gatherer, gun expert and advertising sales rep. He went at each one of these tasks as if it was a career choice for him. Bob didn’t do anything half way. I don’t know if he was always a stickler for detail or that was a learned trait from his years in the military.
Bob appeared on the Pandora stage in several productions including a middle-aged man undergoing gender reassignment transition in Looking For Normal, a Baptist Minister in Southern Baptist Sissies, and an older Doctor suspicious of the gay tendencies of a colleague in Arrangement For Two Violas. In all three of these examples he was able to share the stage with his wife and (I suspect) Best Friend, Betty. Although he never shared the Pandora stage with her, his daughter Julie has also been on stage with Pandora, making his presence here, as with many other companies, a family affair. I remember reading in his bio for one (or more) of the programs for our productions that he cited sharing the stage with Betty at Pandora and with Julie at Bunbury as the great joys of his life.
While serving his term on the board for Pandora, Bob was instrumental in the evolution of the company, pounding the pavement to sell advertising for the program, now grown into a beautiful 32-page color booklet due, in part, to his tenacity, or working to convince a company that Pandora was a worthy organization that deserved sponsorship-level support. I always knew that I could count on Bob to give his opinion, which is why I recruited him for our board. I like a healthy debate, and Bob was certainly happy to oblige!
Bob Zielinski’s influence will be felt and missed as we move forward without him.
Funeral services for Bob Zielinski will be held this Monday, August 18 at noon.
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central
2501 North Dixie Blvd.
Radcliffe, KY 40160