Cover photo for Joseph "Joe" Paul Zehren's Obituary
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Joseph "Joe" Paul Zehren

February 2, 1931 — December 29, 2021

Joseph Paul Zehren
Love of Life, Family, Friends, and Community

Joseph "Joe" Paul Zehren was a loving husband, father, Papa, brother and friend. He left this world on Dec. 29, 2021 at the young age of 90. His love of life and service continue on in others to honor his legacy by living life with zest and charity.

Joe lived life to fullest, spending much of his time serving others which gave him tremendous joy. He had a positive outlook on life that was contagious. People loved spending time with Joe because he always had an interesting story or fact to share, but more importantly he was truly interested in others. Joe was the never ending learner which made him a great listener - made you feel like what you were saying was the most important thing he needed to know, and it was, which is why it felt so genuine.

Joe's life started in humble beginnings, born upstairs in the Springdale cheese Factory in Klondike, WI on Feb. 2, 1931, where his family made a living on the first floor.

Joe completed his Bachelor's degree at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. He used his degree to pursue a career in chemistry, first at Durkee Foods in Chicago, then to Crush international in Evanston, IL where he gained acclaim as an innovator of the soft drink with fruit juice. He retired from Proctor & Gamble in 1991 and headed into full-time volunteer work in his Mount Washington area community.

In Joe's eyes he did what he thought should be done in the community to help others. He had a "can-do" attitude inspiring others to do the same and was recognized by many as helping make the community a better place to live. He was honored many times for his service - 2009 Dottie Reif Community Service Award; 2016 Anderson Area Volunteer of the Year; 2017 Citizens on Patrol/City of Cincinnati Volunteer Appreciation Award. Joe enjoyed teaching others which started with his three kids, John, Jodi and Jill, and then to others in his life journey, while always involving people in projects to help solve problems and give a sense of accomplishment. Joe and Judy were a duo that made a big difference in the community.

Joe loved his family very much. He made a special effort to recognize past generations with his exhaustive genealogy research to share with others. He cherished the memory of his brother John George Zehren, a WWII Air Force pilot, who passed away when Joe was 13 years old and published a book in 2019 of John's letters from the war with historical references to honor him called, Johnny and Crew, Adventures from WWII. Joe was most "at home" when he was in Wisconsin with his extended family (so loved, too many to mention!) His first book was published in 2009 with his cousin, Vincent Zehren, called Wisconsin Cheesemaking, the Zehren Heritage 1890-2008, honoring his family as pioneers in the cheese industry. Every hour in Wisconsin was filled with visiting relatives and friends, farm adventures, eating cheese curds, storytelling, home-made family meals and making memories.

Joe and Judy found so much joy and beauty in nature and focused many volunteer hours in different parks to help flora and fauna flourish. Joe and Judy were a decorating and landscaping powerhouse, partnering on so many projects in the community, too many to list here. Joe built and installed bat houses in Cincinnati Nature Center, volunteered with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and, along with chief Judy, created waterfall oases in his kids' backyards. He's completed multiple eco-friendly projects in Stanbery Park near his home to encourage native plant growth, homes for owls and bats and cleared trails to encourage others to visit and enjoy the park.

Joe is survived by Judy, his wife of 58 years; son John (Linda) Zehren; daughter Jodi (Dave) Schwind; daughter Jill (Ron) Plush; grandchildren Audrey, Robbie, Annie, and Alli. He is preceded in death by his mother Helen Zehren, brother John Zehren, sisters Helen Corso, Alice Porior, Irene Clark and his grandson Kyle Plush.

Joe left this earth a better place for having been on it, living out his Catholic faith as a kind, charitable giving man. He is remembered for his many accomplishments as the "energizer bunny" and exemplary Love of Life, Family, Friends, and Community.

Visitation and service is planned SAT. JAN. 15, 2022 at T P WHITE & SONS Funeral Home, 2050 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230. Visitation held from 2 - 4 PM, followed by a service at 4 PM. An interment burial service is planned for Sat., May 28, 2022 at 10 AM in St. Joseph Cemetery, Appleton, Wisconsin (more details to follow).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joe's memory to one of his favorite charities: Cincinnati Parks Foundation -
Kyle Plush Answer the Call Foundation -
Little Sisters of the Poor -
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph "Joe" Paul Zehren, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 15, 2022

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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T. P. White & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.

2050 Beechmont Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45230

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

T. P. White & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.

2050 Beechmont Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45230

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

St. Joseph Cemetery, Appleton, WI

1815 East Wisconsin Avenue
Appleton, WI 54911

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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