Jessica Joan Zerbst

MADISON, Wis. — Jessica Joan Zerbst, of Madison, Wisconsin, formerly of Dollar Bay, succumbed to illness and medical complications on Sunday, December 3, 2017, after a two-week fight in the University of Wisconsin- Madison Hospital ICU.

For anyone who knew Jessica, she was one never yield to any challenges in her life. She lived life to its fullest and always with an infectious joy and spirit of living.

Although called to heaven far too early, she lived her years on Earth full of love, spirit, passion and professionalism well beyond the mere 41 years of her physical presence.

Jessica had a deep and passionate love for her fiance, Richard Bourne; her dog, Sammy; and her family and friends who will miss her contagious smile, laugh and love for life. The spirit she leaves behind will resonate far and wide as Jessica left a lasting effect in the Madison community, among the many friends she made, and in particular in her chosen profession of law.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2001, and eventually co-founded her current law firm of five attorneys, Zerbst & Kluck SC. She excelled in Family Law as her accounting degree from Michigan Technological University and accounting work and experience is something very few other attorneys had. She never took anyone for granted and deeply cared about making things right for those she served as legal counsel, and thus was often recommended by satisfied clients and even by frustrated former opponents.

Passion was a staple Jessica lived by as she was always all-in with anything she did, from spending time in U.P. with friends and family a few times each year, enjoying pastimes of travel and swimming in the turquoise and warm waters of the Caribbean, driving her prized 850cc ATV “Ruby Red” off-road, to her affinity for animals, especially her labradoodle, Sammy. The people who had the good fortune of knowing and spending time with her know this, and we shall all miss it.

Jessica is survived by fiance, Richard Bourne, and cherished dog, Sammy of Madison, Wisconsin; parents, Raymond and Sandra Zerbst of Dollar Bay; brother, Joseph Zerbst (Melinda), and two treasured nephews, Carter and Henry of Atlantic Mine; grandmother, Shirley Zerbst; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Jessica has been preceded in death by beloved grandfather, Raymond Zerbst; and grandparents, William and Jeanne Koski.

A memorial service for Jessica will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, December 9, 2017, at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock with Rev. DJ Rasner to officiate. Spring burial will be in the Forest Hill Cemetery of Houghton.

Friends may call Saturday, December 9, 2017, from 11 a.m. until time of services at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock.

In lieu of flowers, the family has created a “Sammy Fund” on the Memorial Chapel website which will be donated to assist local Copper Country animals in Jessica’s honor.

To view Jessica’s obituary, send condolences to her family or donate to the Sammy fund please visit

The Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes of Hancock has been assisting the family with the arrangements.