Donald Zeller, 88, died on Aug. 1, 2018, at Prairie Meadows Sr. Living Facility in Kasson. It was coincidental that his death was on this date, the Swiss National Day, as all his ancestors came from Switzerland and settled in Berne, Minn.
Donald Edward Zeller was born on May 25, 1930, in Canisteo Township, Dodge County, to Lyle and Marie (Figy) Zeller. The family farmed in Berne (West Concord) and Oronoco and later moved to the Brownsdale and Hayfield areas, where Don graduated from Hayfield High School.
Don enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp, which during his enlistment, became the U.S. Air Force at Travis Air Force Base, where he had the proud honor of meeting General Travis. He continued duty in the Air Force Reserves achieving the rank and distinction of Chief Master Sergeant. He was a veteran of the Korean War, an active member of the American Legion, and very proud of his service to our country.
Don was a gifted man in engineering and used his talent throughout his life in many ways. As a teen, he worked in the projection room of a local theater and then pursued training in photography in the Air Force. He moved to Milwaukee, Wis., in 1954 earning a certification in electrical telecommunications and then returned to California and made a lifelong career at Pacific Bell Telephone Company in Sacramento, Calif.
Don and his wife, Cathy, returned to Kasson in 1990 and resided here for the rest of their lives. Don was also a master at tuning and repairing pipe organs and cuckoo clocks and also worked with his wife in a successful embroidery business. In addition, Don was a pilot of small engine aircrafts, a Boy Scout master and highly involved in the Eagle Scout program, a member of a rifle club, Swiss-American clubs, the Berne Swissfest, served on the Zwingli U.C.C. church board, the Berne Cemetery board, Dodge County Historical Society board, and a local historian with particular interests in the Civil War, Switzerland, and genealogy.
Don met the love of his life, Catherine Steinhaus, while in the military and they were married on April 6, 1952. To this union four children were born: a son, Rodney, and three daughters, Carol Lynn, Gale, and Lori. His wife, Cathy, preceded him in death in 2014. He is survived by his four children, seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and numerous cousins in southeastern Minnesota.
Funeral Services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at Zwingli United Church of Christ, 23148 Co. Hwy 24, West Concord, with Pator Karen Larson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. His cremated remains will be interred at the Berne Cemetery, Berne. Military graveside services will be provided by the Kasson American Legion Post #333.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that memorials be directed to the church.
Dibble Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Kasson is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at www.dibblefuneralhome.com.