Donald Herbert Ziegler was born on the family farm in Brook Park, Minnesota, December 20, 1928. He passed away on St Patrick's Day, March 17, 2023, at Willows Bend in Fridley, Minnesota, just seventeen days after moving into an Independent Living apartment there. Daughter Kathleen and son in law Paul were there at his side. He attained the age of 94 years, two months, and 25 days, coming to rest after a productive and energy - filled life so much longer than many of us can hope to expect.
We know it is only God's grace that brings long life, and so that must be said of Dad. But his great love of Ramona, his faithful wife of 72 plus years, must have been another contributing factor in his longevity. He first met Ramona in 1944, and until her passing in 2019, they would never be apart. Dad told us that when he first saw her, at the age of 15, that he was "done for", and knew there would be no need of looking for another girl. Theirs was a true love and a great inspiration to the entire family.
Six children were born to Don and Ramona; Mike, Tom, Kathy, Joe, Tim, and Julie. Dad knew how to get his kids to work, and often had lists of summer chores that Kathy would type up for each of us to do. He would take us camping and fishing, coach Little League or Indian Guides and so many other activities.
Don was the most inventive and resourceful person anyone ever met. He could out - MacGuiver MacGuiver! Just a sampling of his inventive prowess would include building two cabins, snow plows, cherry pickers, stair climbers, door openers, machines to fill detergent boxes, assembly lines, rental property repairs, ice boat, automated horse feeders, numerous iterations of his electric golf cart, to name a few. He would automate things even if the automated process was more work than a manual process. He just could not keep from inventing and tinkering.
He worked many years as a plant manager at A&L Laboratories before venturing off on his own managing his raft of rental houses, which he greatly enjoyed. Dad learned to golf in his forties, and was usually in two or three leagues each summer, including with the Knights of Columbus, where he also spent a night each week tending bar. One of his side jobs was washing the glass doors each Sunday night at Saint William's. We would finish early, and each week from the church kitchen he then would call his favorite sister Irene for a Sunday evening chat.
Dad wrestled with his faith. But he surely knew that the goodness of God was evident in his life. He used his opportunities to display compassion to many, and especially remembered were the kindnesses he showed to his tenants; many that were in a hard spot in life he would help with employment, or reduced rent, or just being a friend. These kind deeds were not often talked about, but they were numerous.
Donald was preceded in death by his wife, Ramona, son Thomas (DeLyne), daughter-inlaw Mary Beth, and grandson Josiah. He is survived by his children, Michael (Caryn), Kathleen (Paul), Joseph (Nancy), Timothy (Michelle) and Julianna, and favorite sister Irene, with numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Dad's faithful friend Ruthie is much appreciated for her love and assistance over the last many years.
Visitation at 10:00 a.m. and Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at Church of St. William. Burial Brook Park Cemetery.