Pete Zumstein (1926 - 2019)

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Pete Arnold Zumstein
Jan. 2, 1926 - Jan. 2, 2019
Pete Arnold Zumstein of Ceres, California passed away peacefully at home with his family on Jan. 2, 2019, the day of his 93rd birthday.
Pete was born on Jan. 2, 1926 in Holtville, California to parents Pete Zumstein, Sr. and Katherine VonAh Zumstein, who had both immigrated to America from Switzerland. As a young man, Pete worked on a dairy in southern California. His family moved north to a dairy in Ceres. He was drafted into the army, and ended his service with an honorable discharge. When he came back home, he drove a milk truck route. In 1952 he married Isabella Rohrer, and they lived in Modesto a short time, then moved to a Hilmar dairy where Pete worked for Clarence Ahlem. During these years, Pete and Isabella had five children. In 1969 they had a home built on the Ceres property, and Pete began working at Gallo Winery in Modesto. Then their sixth child was born. Pete retired after 20 years with Gallo, and stayed at the country property, enjoying his retirement there, hosting sausage-making gatherings and many other parties and get-togethers.
He is survived by Isabella, his wife of 66 years, and children Annabel Murata (Bob), Leonard Zumstein (Vicky), Fred Zumstein (Cheryl), John Zumstein (Marilyn), Heidi Scroggins (Olen), and Julie Hawkins (Mike). He also leaves behind grandchildren Matt (Viviana), Megan (Mark), Renae (Sam), Chad (Whitney), Stacey, Karen, Renee (Grant), Robin, Rusty (Jennifer), Kevin, Sarah, Christina, Justin, and Ryan, as well as great grandchildren Zach, Haley, Makenna, Elias, Riley, Landon, Amari, Andres, Coraline, Avery, Presley, Teo, and Emmett. There are two nieces that survive him; Ann Wriker and Kathy Reed. He is preceded in death by his parents Pete and Katherine Zumstein, and his twin sister Kaye Hughes.
Pete was a member of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hilmar and belonged to the Young Men's Institute there. He later attended St. Jude's Catholic Church in Ceres. He volunteered at a hospital for a while. Proud of his Swiss heritage, he was an active member of the SJV Swiss Club and the SJV Swiss Echoes. He and Isabella had many Swiss friends, and enjoyed having company come to play jass card games. Pete played accordion and his daughter Annabel accompanied him on piano, so there was always music at Zumstein gatherings. Pete eventually joined a Swiss band, and he played at concerts, schools, nursing homes, and other functions.
Pete was known for his friendliness and sense of humor. He liked wearing different hats, from beanies to baseball caps to cowboy hats to big sombreros. He loved country life, and the family always had a variety of pets over the years, like tame Swiss cows, goats, a duck, a donkey, a pig, and more. He was kindhearted, funny, honest, never lost his temper, and was loved by family and friends who will miss him dearly.
A private graveside service for Pete was held on January 11, 2019 at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery in Modesto. Remembrances in Pete's name can be donated to Covenant Care Hospice 125 Broadway Suite 1A, Turlock, CA 95380 or to St. Jude's Catholic Church (building fund) 3824 Mitchell Rd., Ceres, CA 95307 or to SJV Swiss Club 110 N. Manley Rd., Ripon, CA 95366.

Published in the Modesto Bee on Jan. 12, 2019