Music 32

Dorothy Della Zillen

August 13, 1924 ~ January 6, 2024 (age 99) 99 Years Old

Dorothy Zillen Obituary

Dorothy Zillen, age 99, of Swansea, IL, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at her residence.

Dorothy was born on August 13, 1924, to the late Michael and Mildred, nee Matt, Klim.  She grew up in East St. Louis, IL, and spent most of her childhood learning how to play musical instruments and writing music. She made her living playing the accordion and the piano in local establishments.  Later in life, she was a caregiver. Dorothy’s husband, Anthony Zillen, was a Navy pilot who died while on active duty in early 1957.

Dorothy continued her love of music by taking lessons on the organ. She also enjoyed coloring using markers and colored pencils. Dorothy had an amazing smile and great sense of humor; just about everyone she met instantly fell in love with her and many became longtime friends who kept in touch with her even after moving long distances away.

She is survived by four daughters and four sons, Janice Gebel, Loraine Lorenz, and Mary Neuschel, all who reside in NC, Rita Benecke of HI, Gerard Zillen of IL, Don (Alice) Zillen, of WA, Joe Zillen of NM, and Tony (Theresa) Zillen, of TN; her caregiver and best friend, Mary Ann Naas, her ex-daughter-in-law, Judy Zillen; 12 grandchildren, Zak (Laura) Zillen, Jamie (Kyle) Zamora, Craig Van Vooren, Gayla Van Vooren, Scott Neuschel, Mark Benecke, Jr., Max Benecke, Brigitte Benecke, Ingrid (Thomas) Chiles, Liesel Benecke, Eddie Hepfer, and Brian (Rebecca) Hepfer.

 A special thanks to Unity Hospice for their support and dedication to the care of Dorothy over the last year. 

Memorials may be made to Serving Feral Cats Rescue.

Dorothy was cremated, and a Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, February 4, 2024, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Della Zillen, please visit our floral store.

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Celebration of Life
February 4, 2024

1:00 PM
Kassly Mortuary, Ltd (Fairview Heights)


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