Gordon Joseph Zastrow and Viola Minnie Peik


Gordon Joseph Zastrow
Born: August 1, 1907 in Elton, Wisconsin
Died: August 30, 1985 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Father: Herman Carl August Zastrow
Mother: Barbara Servi

Gordon and Viola-January 29, 1930

Viola Minnie Peik
Born: December 27, 1910
Died: 1993 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Father: Frederick Joachim Peik
Mother: Ida Behlow

Marriage: January 29, 1930
St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Hilbert, Wisconsin
by Rev. R.E. Heschke

Children: 8 Children


Family Stories:

Gordon Zastrow was the oldest child to Herman and Barbra Zastrow. He had two older half brothers, Alfred "Shorty" who later lived with he and Viola and Otto, who died very young. Also a half sister Mabel who also died young. The family moved from Elton, Wisconsin where Gordon was born, to Greenleaf/Morrison area of Wisconsin in Brown County where he grew up. After their marriage in 1930 and not being an avid farmer, he began working for Kohler Company in Kohler, Wisconsin commuting each week. He enjoyed smoking his pipe, taking care of his lawn, which he kept meticulous and after he retired he fixed up an old farm wagon, painted it and filled it with flowers. He really enjoyed this hobby.

Viola was the oldest of three daughters born to Fred and Ida Peik. She grew up in the Chilton area of Wisconsin. In their early marriage she took care of the children and the farm while Gordon worked at Kohler. Once they moved to Sheboygan, she worked for many years as a shoe stitcher for the Leverenz Shoe Company in Sheboygan, WI. There was always a bounty of good cooking at the table and her specialties were German Potato Salad and Wilted Lettuce Salad. The cookie drawer was always full and no one could resist her Ribbon Cookies at Christmas time. She loved to tat and after she retired she took up ceramics at the Senior Center.

On Sundays the children and grandchildren gathered at their home for "brats and hamburgers", and other dinner fixin's. The men watched the "Green Bay Packer game" and the women played card games or talked, always keeping an eye on the many grandkids running around.

As for the times in which they lived, Gordon and Viola grew up during WWI and the roaring 20's. They began their life together at the beginning of the Great Depression and were in the midst of raising their family during WWII. They started their lives with horse and buggy, and Viola always enjoyed telling the story about how she taught her Dad how to drive thier first car. I'm sure she appreciated like all the wives of the day as one by one modern conveniences replaced time consuming housework. The later part of the century is marked with the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars, the craziness of the 60's and 70's but also the prosperity that came with those times. Being avid sports fans there was also the golden era of the Green Bay Packers in the 60's, although Gordon enjoyed getting his kids "riled", and always said he was rooting for the "other" team!!!

With 8 children and 22 grandchildren the house was always full and as the years went along and grandchildren married the family gatherings become quite large. But the more the merrier for them.

At one point the children wrote stories of their life with their Mom and Dad and here are some excerpts:
Memories from the Children
Grandchildren Remember

Sheboygan Press
February 4, 1930 Wedding Announcement
August 21, 1958 Trip to California
January 22, 1975 45th Wedding Anniversary

Some of Viola's Recipes
German Potato Salad
Wilted Lettuce Salad
Ribbon Cookies
Beer Batter
Fruit Cocktail Cake
Veggie Dip
Scalloped Potatoes
Sherried Beef
Cabbage Salad


1910 United States Census-Gordon-age 2
1920 United States Census- Viola-age9
1930 United States Census
NOTE: Mabel and Herman are siblings from a previous marriage

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Greenlawn Memorial Cemetary
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Langlade County Birth Index- Gordon
1901 Langlade County Map-shows Elton
Wisconsin County Map