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Thursday, May 4, 2023
4:00 - 8:00pm
Friday, May 5, 2023
9:30 - 10:30am
Friday, May 5, 2023
Starts at 11:00am
Donald P. “Don” Zemler, age 73 of Sauk Centre, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 28, 2023, after a three-year battle with multiple myeloma.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 5 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre with Rev. Greg Paffel officiating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre. Parish prayers will be held at 6:15 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home.
Donald Paul Zemler was born February 2, 1950 in Fulda, Minnesota, to Herman and Agnes (Baechler) Zemler. Don grew up on the farm – milking cows and growing potatoes – with his ten brothers and sisters. He graduated from Fulda High School in 1969 and furthered his education at Southwest State University, earning his teaching degree in 1973. He was united in marriage to Marsha Neidecker on July 19, 1975 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
Soon after their marriage, Don and Marsha settled in Bellingham, Minnesota, where Don taught high school math and coached football and baseball. In 1981, they moved to Sauk Centre, where Don taught geometry, trigonometry, and computer science until retiring in 2007. He was an active leader and negotiator with his union, the Minnesota Education Association. A much-loved coach of girl’s volleyball and then the founding coach of Sauk Centre’s girls softball program, Don and Marsha led their team to the state tournament in 1999. During summers, Don worked as a crop adjuster, and following his retirement from teaching, became an year-round adjuster and claims auditor for RCIS/Zurich. He found great fulfillment in checking out crops and visiting farmers around Minnesota - and even traveling to Nebraska and Texas - and in teaching skills to newer adjustors.
Don’s greatest joys were his children and grandchildren. He loved puzzles and card games. He was often found in the backyard, playing football or softball with the kids. An avid outdoorsman, summers were spent at the lake fishing. Every fall, he looked forward to hunting season, and had special memories of times with his brothers, nephews, sons, neighbor boys, and grandsons going after pheasants, ducks, turkeys, and most importantly deer. Even as his health was declining, he was proud to bring home his largest buck ever in 2021.
Survivors include his wife, Marsha Zemler of Sauk Centre; children, Marie (Sherman) Zemler Wu of Boston, Massachusetts, Matthew (Ingrid) Zemler, Sr. of Duluth, and David (Hnou) Zemler of Saint Paul; grandchildren, Ryah (Miryah), Elliot, and Tilly (Matilde) Zemler Wu, and Matthew, Jr., Jasper, and Crosby Zemler; brothers and sisters, Sr. Rosemary Zemler of Rochester; Rita (Dale) Bunkers of Chester, South Dakota, Richard (Irene) Zemler of Luverne, and Maggie Heath of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Edward (Elaine) Zemler, Joan (Herb) Remiger, Fred (Diane) Zemler, Tom Zemler, Jim (Jeni) Zemler, and Barb Bunkers; and brother-in-law, Calvin Heath.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.