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Frank Ziegler

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ZIEGLER, Frank Frank Richard Ziegler Oct. 1, 1923 - March 6, 2011 Son to Theodore and Elizabeth Ziegler, Frank was born on October 1, 1923 in College Park, Georgia. One of 8-children, Frank from an early age pulled his own weight and with his bicycle contributed to the family with an Atlanta Journal paper route. He grew learning to cooperate and share with others. He was destined to achieve great things. Incredibly, at the age of 16, Frank followed his brother's steps by enrolling at Georgia Tech. He wanted to play football. Eventually all 7-boys of the Ziegler family earned their degree at Tech a record still held at the college. His college and football career was placed on hold a year later. As soon as he turned 17, Frank enlisted in the United States Navy where he served nearly 4-years in the "Lighter Than Air Brigade." To remain in shape and increase his speed he would spend hours running in the sand along the California Sea. He grew strong and matured. He developed his competitive nature and his longing for excellence. In 1946 Frank was back at Tech and quickly earned the respect and admiration of Coach Bobby Dodd. His speed, skill and versatility surprised coach Dodd who termed Frank as "the best fullback Georgia Tech has had since Father Lumpkin." The number 35 fullback became one of the feared Doddmen and earned both "All Southern" title. Grant Field was his home. The fans labeled him such names as "the Zoomer" and "Ziggy the Cat". Coaches and players at Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia coined different names for the number 35. Frank's drive, skill and speed soon caught the attention of the NFL. It was no surprise when in 1948 Frank signed a contract with the Philadelphia eagles. Frank said his good-byes and left for "Eagles" camp in Wisconsin. Here his smaller 5'11", 1175 lb. frame seemed no match for the much heavier "pay-for-play" football men. On that first Sunday afternoon start against the Redskins he was Half Back, #41 and the players soon learned that size and weight could not always deliver against the courage and ferocity of the Zoomer. In his first year with the Eagles, Frank wound up second in the ratings of NFL line smashers. At the end of the 1950 season, he was first in yards gained. Sports headlines around the country commonly carried stories of Frank's tremendous performances. Frank was a part of the Eagles, National Championship win. When asked about the future, Frank's response was that "I want to play on the pro circuit for a few seasons to gain gridiron knowledge and then to coach". Frank never realized his dream of becoming a football coach. During his pro football career, Frank worked with his brother Bill during the off season. Bill started Ziegler Tools in 1948 from the trunk of his car and later with the help of Frank's sales abilities opened the store on Luckie Street near the Tech campus. It seemed everyone had heard of Frank and now wanted to do business with him. His ambition to become a coach was shelved. Joining with Bill full time he quickly secured and developed Ziegler's "big-3" accounts, Delta, General Motors and Lockheed. For 47-years Frank served as the Vice President of Ziegler Tools where he influenced and touched the lives of many. He was a dedicated man of honor and integrity where the customer always came first. He was in the office by 6 a.m. and spent many afternoons with customers on the golf course. Frank became a scratch golfer and learned that golf could be both a great sales tool and way to build life-long relationships with customers. He eventually retired from Ziegler Tools and spent many years between his home in Duluth (The Strickland House) and second home in Clarkesville, Ga. Frank continued to play golf, work in his yard and spend time with his family and dogs for many years. In 2006 Frank moved to Lanier Village Estates, an assisted living facility in Gainesville, GA along with his devoted wife Alice. Frank is a Christian and member of the LDS Church. Frank is survived by his wife Alice, daughters Cindy Tupps of Conyers, Frankie McCafferty of Lawrenceville, Sandra Ziegler of Burlington, VT, Robin Burch of Kennesaw, his sons Bill Howard of Daytona Beach, FL, Bob Howard of Pensacola, FL, his brother Bill Ziegler of Marietta and his sister Betty Dunn. Frank has 11-grandchildren and 8-great grandchildren. He is loved and will be missed by all. Funeral services for Frank Richard Ziegler will be 1:00 PM Wednesday March 9, 2011 at Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory Duluth Chapel with the family receiving friends 2 hours prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Strickland House Fund, P.O. Box 599, Duluth, GA 30096, for preservation of the home. Arrangements by Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory Duluth Chapel 770-476-2535.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Mar. 7 to Mar. 8, 2011
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