Robert Joseph Zeller died peacefully in his sleep due to complications from a stroke on Friday, October 25, 2013. He will be missed by his family and friends.|
Bob was born in Des Moines, IA on September 27, 1925 to Robert M. and Margaret Zeller. He graduated from Dowling High School in 1943. He served in World War II in Europe and was part of the Battle of the Bulge Campaign. Upon returning to Des Moines in 1946 he enrolled at Drake University where he was president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and served as an officer on the inter-fraternity council. He graduated from Drake in 1949. While at Drake, Bob met the love of his life, Donna Jean Wolf from Lytton, IA. They married shortly after graduation and settled in Bedford, IA where he owned the Dad and Lad Clothing Store until 1959. He moved his family to Des Moines and opened the Park Fair Fabric Store and worked for F. Brody and Sons as their sales manager.
Bob's career then led him to Woodford Manufacturing in 1978 where he was Vice President of Sales. Bob and Donna relocated to Colorado Springs, CO in 1989 where he continued his sales position with Woodford until 1995. He remained a board member of Woodford Mfg until his death. His time in Colorado Springs brought him much success and happiness. The family would like to personally thank Joe and Linda Woodford for their friendship, as well as all the employees of Woodford Mfg.
Bob's family meant more to him than anything. He enjoyed summers spent with his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews at Lake Okoboji, and the Lake will always hold a special place in all of their hearts. He loved when the family would gather for holidays and was always quick to get a card game of 'goose-egg' started. He enjoyed the annual thanksgiving family touch football games cheering wildly from the sidelines.
Bob is survived by his wife, Donna; three sons, Robert (Sue) Zeller of Ballwin, MO, Tom Zeller of Plano, TX, Paul (Jane) Zeller of Overland Park, KS; daughter, Mary Lynn (Fred) Grask of Cedar Rapids, IA; ten grandchildren, Jessica (Tim) Davilla, Allison Zeller, Lauren Grask, Connor Grask, Max Zeller, Devin Zeller, Sam Zeller, Griffin Zeller, Mason Zeller and Hayden Zeller; one great-grandchild, Dylan Davilla; two brothers, George (Delores) Zeller of White Bear Lake, MN and Jack (Mary) Zeller of Lafayette, CO; four sisters, Betty Zeller of Des Moines, Barbara Barnts of Buhl, ID, Rosemary (John) Sybert of Boulder, CO, and Patty (Chuck) Van Gilder of Pleasant Hill; and many nieces and nephews, all of whom held a special place in his heart.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, October 30 at Iles Dunn's Chapel in Des Moines from 5 to 7 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Thursday, October 31 at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines.
Bob's family would like to thank the staff at both Pikes Peak Care Center in Colorado Springs and Northbrook Manor in Cedar Rapids for their compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to either Dowling High School or Boys Town. Online condolences are welcome at www.IlesCares.com.
Published in The Gazette on Oct. 29, 2013