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Welcome to the memorial page for

Zen S. Hybke

July 29, 1944 ~ October 26, 2017 (age 73)


Zenon Stanley Hybke, the "Big Z", passed away at his home in Oshkosh, WI on October 22nd, 2017. He was 73 when he went knock-knock-knockin' on Heaven's door.

Born in 1944 on July 25th at St. Mary’s Hospital in LaSalle, IL to Dr. Zenon S. & Ann (Curry) Hybke, Zen had a flare for humor & creativity from an early age.

It was as a popular DJ in 1966 at WLPO Radio in LaSalle, IL that Zen began his career. These formative years of broadcasting the Top 40 hits of the era would eventually inspire the theme behind his unique dining concepts including the legendary Radio Station Restaurant & Bakery.

Zen loved spending childhood summers at the family log cabin on Fish Lake in Hancock.  It was in 1974 in nearby Wautoma where he opened his first restaurant, called the Yummy Tummy. Known for his zany menus & artwork, one-of-a-kind specials and breakfast inventions like the Yakety-Yak, he would go on to operate a number of restaurants in the Waushara County area throughout his lifetime.

His appreciation for literature, movies and music occupied much of his free time and made him a walking history book. Perhaps his most valued possession was a large collection of original Sci-Fi novels. In his later years Zen was most at peace among his dear family & friends. The days and nights on Fish Lake no doubt soothed his soul, and fortunately they continued throughout his last days during the summer-like autumn of 2017.

Zen is preceded in death by two sisters, Marianne  & Noreen, and brother Mark. Zen is survived by his two beloved daughters & pride and joy: Shelley (Ed) Thomsen of Minneapolis and Amber (Shawn) Keltner of Los Angeles, and his best friend & brother Tom Hybke of Winchester, WI. Nieces & nephews: Molly, Michael, Kevin & Sarah. He is also survived by grandchildren, Payton, Myles, Sawyer, Shea, Rivers Thomsen, MN and Kelty & Kree Keltner, CA.  

A special thanks to those that brought true joy into his life: the Tom & Rosie Walsh family, Tom & Sharon Hybke, the Stahl family, the Spees family, the McCaskeys, Mick & Jonie Walsh, Madeline Mauro, the Fesco family and many others.

A private service and tribute will be held in his honor on Fish Lake in July of 2018.


 Service Information

A service summary is not available


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