Richard August Zirbel, 76, a long-time Horicon resident, died peacefully early Tuesday morning, December 7th, 2010 at St. Anne”s Providence Court, Milwaukee with his daughters at his side.
Richard was born on October 4th, 1934 in Milwaukee to Richard W. and Christina Schott Zirbel. He and his younger siblings lived behind his father”s Layton Park Bakery until 1950, when the family moved to East Troy. His father was a German immigrant and Dick was bilingual as a child and very proud of his heritage.
After graduating as Valedictorian from Boy”s Technical High School in Milwaukee, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1953 and served until 1957. Richard”s time in the Navy had a great influence on him, and his family was treated to many narrated slide shows of his world travels aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Barton.
He then entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his B.S. degree in Light Building Industry. It was at UW-Madison that he met the love of his life, a freshman nursing student named Judy Guenther. They were united in marriage September 22, 1962. The newlyweds made their home in Fond du Lac before moving to Horicon in 1967.
Richard was employed at John Deere Horicon Works for over 31 years before retiring in 1997. He was very loyal to John Deere and greatly enjoyed using his green and yellow equipment at a country property he and Judy owned south of Horicon. A member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, he volunteered at St. Stephen”s Food Pantry, Bethesda Country Fair, and Habitat for Humanity.
Richard was a loving, generous father, and devoted husband. He enjoyed many trips and activities with his wife after his retirement. Her sudden death from cancer in 2006 affected him deeply. His family will deeply miss his quiet, patient wisdom and sense of humor.
Survivors include three children, Peter Zirbel of Onalaksa, Susan (Matthew) Bellm of Mequon, and Sara Zirbel (special friend Dan Bieser) of Milwaukee; two brothers, John Zirbel of Silver Spring MD, and Carl Zirbel of Dearborn MI; one sister, Linda (Walter) Holthaus of Madison, nieces, nephews, and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
A visitation will be held at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Horicon Saturday, December 11th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. followed by the 11:30 a.m funeral service. Pastor Daniel Seehafer will officiate. He will be buried in Oakhill Cemetery in Horicon. Memorials can be made in Richard Zirbel”s name to St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Horicon or the St. Stephens Food Pantry.
The Murray Funeral Home in Horicon is serving the family.
Saturday, December 11th, 2010, 9:30am – 11:30am
Saturday, December 11th, 2010, 11:30am
Oak Hill Cemetery-Horicon