Raymond Albert Zieske, age 93, of Moorestown, NJ, formerly of Willmar, died Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, at the Lutheran Home in Moorestown.
He was born Sept. 1, 1916, to Charles William and Helen (Spaeth) Zieske in Greenwald, MN, where his grandparents were early town founders and owners of the local grain elevator, hotel and tavern businesses.
In 1923, the family moved to Albany, MN to start a new business. Ray lost his father to kidney disease in 1926, and he and his sister, Irene, were then raised in Albany by their mother, stepfather Nicky Fuchs, and extended family.
Ray attended Holy Family Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Albany High School.
He joined the CCC during the Great Depression and used his earnings to put himself through the American Business School in Minneapolis.
Ray married Ann Bohlsen of Clara City March 2, 1940, in a Minneapolis civil ceremony. They made their home in Minneapolis, where Ray worked as an agent for American National Insurance Company.
Ray enlisted in the US Army in 1942, and served as a transportation sergeant during World War II.
Following his discharge in 1946, he rejoined American National Insurance Company as an agent, and later was promoted to field manager. In 1958, Ray and Ann and the family moved to Michigan, where Ray rose to district manager of the Grand Rapids, MI and Pontiac, MI offices of American National Insurance Company.
Ray retired in 1968, and Ray and Ann moved to Willmar. They were members of First Presbyterian Church, where Ray served as a deacon and was active in adult Sunday school and the men’s breakfast club.
He was an entertaining speaker, enjoyed telling jokes, playing endless cribbage games, and square dancing with the Jolly Twirlers Club.
Ray is survived by his son, Randolph (and Patricia) Zieske of Rolling Meadows, IL; son-in-law Jack Dobbins of Haddonfield, NJ; two grandchildren, Grace Dobbins and William Zieske; a brother-in-law, Wallace Kluver; and other relatives and friends, including cousins Fred Zieske and Richard Zieske of Delano.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Helen Zieske; his wife, Ann; a daughter, Faith Dobbins; and a sister, Irene Zieske.
The funeral service took place Saturday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. at Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City with visitation for one hour prior to the service at the church. The Rev. Donald Plantinga officiated. Interment was in the church cemetery.
Arrangements were with Tri-County Funeral Home in Prinsburg.
Memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society or Bethany Reformed Church.