Community Giving

Joe Zeleny

Three Generous Legacies

Three of the local community foundations — the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, and the Willmar Area Community Foundation — were the beneficiary of a generous bequest from an individual during the spring of 2009.

Those individuals set about creating their legacies many years ago. Each in his and her own way thoughtfully chose how they would like to use their estate to establish charitable funds for the future.

Dr. Joe Zeleny was an orthopedic surgeon who practiced in the St. Cloud area for many years. He was co-founder of St. Cloud Orthopedics and served as Chief of Staff at St. Cloud Hospital.

Joe and his wife, Teresa, raised six children who all settled in Minnesota and who provided them with ten grandchildren. “I was blessed with the kind of parents you read about in storybooks," his daughter, Mary, said.

The Zelenys were generous people and their charitable giving was important. Teresa died in 2002, and Joe passed away in 2009.

A significant gift at his death established the Joseph and Teresa Zeleny Fund. It is an endowed fund that will provide annual support for nine different organizations whose missions were valued by Joe and Teresa.

Their values in life are implicit in the list—the church, education, and medicine—and all but one of the recipients are local organizations.

The Zelenys’ legacy is deep and broad, and the Joseph and Teresa Zeleny Fund will compliment much that they did while living.