For those that did not know Mike Zankle, He was a really funny great Cavalier from the early 80s. Came to us from the Blue Stars. We were new guys and were initiated together. Times change, and to younger Cavaliers, the Rite of passage may have different meanings. That is okay, like I said, times change…but I will always have an incredible bond and fond memories of him.
Share a story about him if you would in a reply.
Here is mine…
During initiations, we were all pretty worn out. Sitting in the room going through it all as we did, it was getting late and there were not many left of us to go before the board. A couple of old guys were quizzing us on the info. A few guys were struggling. They asked Zank who are the 3Ms? He responded.. “Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing” and with that, it took the heavy out of the air… We cracked up. He caught some hell for it but he did what he intended to do, he made us laugh and keep going.

Rest in Peace Zank…
-J.c. Kirkwood

In 82, Mike played vibes. In those days the marching standard was 4″ toe lift. And Mike would turn up in the mornings in flip flops. The staff said there is no way to attain the toe lift in flip flops. I don’t know how he managed to keep them on his feet, but he
demonstrated to the staff that he could indeed plant his heel, lift his toes and roll through!
RIP Brother 🙏
Mark Saul


Michael Lee Zankle, 61, of Fond du Lac passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, November 20, 2022. Michael was born in De Pere on August 9, 1961 to Lee and Georgia Zankle who preceded him in death. He leaves behind his beloved son and daughter Maxwell and Claire Zankle, a sister LaRae, niece Elizabeth, nephew Darrin, cousins and many good friends. Mike graduated from Goodrich High School, Fond du Lac in 1979. He then served in the U.S. Army as a Russian Linguist after attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with an emphasis in Botany for which he had a lifelong passion. Mike’s career included Consultants Lab of Wisconsin and the Fond du Lac and Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Offices. Mike will be remembered for his love of music as he was a gifted percussionist and marched in several Drum and Bugle Corps in his youth; including the Marquis of Fond du Lac, the Blue Stars of La Crosse, WI and the Cavaliers of Rosemont, IL. He had very close and lifelong friendships with many people he marched with in the drum corps. Mike had a very dry wit and loved to see the humor in things, and was a very nostalgic soul. He will be missed and remembered fondly by many. There will be no formal service at this time but a Celebration of Life and Military Rites will be at a future date. Memorials are appreciated to the family or to the Fond du Lac Humane Society in honor of “Mike” and his beloved collie “Winnie” (they may be sent to Twohig Funeral Home, 305 Fond du Lac Ave. Fond du Lac, WI 54935). Twohig Funeral Home is serving the family with online guestbook and condolences at

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