Dorchester mourns Joe Zinck, civic leader, veterans’ stalwart

Joe Zinck, a Vietnam War veteran, former Boston Police Lt. Detective and a civic leader in Dorchester for four decades, died last Wed., Nov. 20, after an illness. Mr. Zinck was a driving force behind the creation of the Dorchester Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Morrissey Boulevard and has been a faithful steward of the memorial site since its dedication in the mid-1980s.

A graduate of Boston English High School in 1965, he joined the Marine Corps thereafter and received a Bronze Star for bravery in action in Vietnam.

Mr. Zinck was a longtime member of the Dorchester Day Parade Committee who put in service as the parade’s chief marshal. Additionally, he was instrumental in organizing Memorial Day observances at the Vietnam Memorial each year.

“Joe was a beloved member of our community, who proudly served his city and his country for his entire life,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “He gave back at every chance he could through his work supporting Boston police officers, as a lieutenant detective in the Police Department, and as director of the Boston Police Relief Association.

“He lifted up our veterans as a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and founding member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and was involved in the neighborhood he loved and called home through his work with the Cedar Grove Civic Association and Dorchester Parade Committee. We will miss Joe greatly. May he rest in peace.”  

A former employee of Boston Edison, Mr. Zinck joined the Boston Police Department in 1980, retiring in 2012 as a Lt. Detective. 

He leaves his wife of 50 years, Diane (Duffy) and his daughters Lisa and Stacie, along with her husband Denis McCarthy (BPD) and their children, Mia and Chloe. He was the devoted brother of Jeannie and her husband, Jay Holmes of Onset, and the late H. Robert Zinck.  Dear son of the late William and M. Delphine (Darrah) Zinck. He also leaves many loving nieces, nephews, in-laws, and dear friends.

His funeral was held on Tuesday at St. Brendan’s Church; he was laid to rest at Cedar Grove Cemetery.