Bob was born in Milwaukee and raised there; in Springfield, Ohio; in York, Pennsylvania; and in Sidney, Ohio. Aftergraduating from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Communication Arts, he worked in marketing and marketing communications for over a decade. At a crossroads in his career, he decided to join the Peerless Machinery Corporation, recently acquired by his father Frank, in 1977. Located in Sidney OH, where Bob had earlier spent some of his teenage years, the company was a longstanding producer of bakery and bread-making equipment. Under the management of father and son, Peerless grew substantially over the years. Bob retired from Peerless in 2008, when the company was sold to Illinois Tool Works.
Bob's post-retirement business involvement has included service on corporate and not-for-profit boards as well as various philanthropic activities. Favorite pastimes include golf, fly fishing, boating, and shooting (of the sport rather than the criminal variety).
Fran, who contributed the “Last Word” section of Sealed with a Kiss, was born and raised in Andover, MA. A graduate of Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, she taught school for a number of years, principally college preparatory English. In addition to raising her family, she also co-owned an interior design studio. She enjoys yoga, fitness and cooking and has been active in community and charitable service.
Both Bob and Fran love reading, enjoying the outdoors, and travel. Today, their children live in locations from Olathe, Kansas to Troy, Ohio and their family has grown to include ten grandchildren. They live in Vero Beach, on the East coast of Florida, and have been married over 50 years.
Bob's most recent publication is Finding Our Roots: The Zühlsdorff Family History. This genealogy traces the Robert Zielsdorf family history back to Pomerania in 1765. Written primarily for the benefit of the author's immediate family, it may be of interest to anyone researching the Zielsdorf family name. Purchase your copy on Blurb.com or Amazon.com.
Bob Zielsdorf and Fran Jordan met in 1957, and soon thereafter began the exchange of over 400 letters that forms the heart of Sealed with a Kiss: An American Love Story in Letters. The couple married in 1965 and raised five children: Kristen Schwartz, Beth Alexander, Matt, Rob, and Molly.