Gary R. Ziegler, age 66, of Lyle, Minnesota, passed away on Sunday, October 22, 2023, surrounded by his loving family at St. Mary’s Hospital. Gary was born on June 3, 1957, at Mitchell County Memorial Hospital in Osage, Iowa to Don and Dona (Johannsen) Ziegler of Stacyville, Iowa. Gary met his beloved wife, Cindy (Ricke) Ziegler, through mutual friends after a Lyle basketball game. They had their first date at George’s Pizza in Austin, MN. Gary and Cindy were married on October 16, 1976, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin, MN and enjoyed 47 plus years of enjoying life, laughter, love, and making wonderful memories with family and friends along the way. As one of Gary’s infamous one-liners he would say “You never know when you're making a memory.” Cherish them forever!
Throughout his career, Gary enjoyed a variety of jobs. His favorites were delivering beer and coffee, grain hauling, tending truck for Northern Country Coop, and working for Goslee Farms. His passion remained farming his own “Poor Farm” (as he many times referenced it). He met many friends and acquaintances through the years who have stayed close to this day.
In his younger years, Gary enjoyed men’s and co-ed softball, hunting, and tractor pulling which he was a member of the Great Northern Oliver Collectors. He was also an active member of 4-H, Cub Scouts, and served as a Boy Scout leader.
Gary and Cindy have worked together for many years as a team on the Union Presbyterian Church Preservation Project. They remain caretakers of the church to the present day.
Gary was an instrumental part in the growth of the Lyle Tractor Pull. It started at the Our Saviors Church parking lot, then moved to the old feed mill site, then because of growth and expansion to the current location of Agri-Steel’s lot. It is now known as the Lyle Area Truck, Tractor, and Semi Pull. His voice was very well known behind a microphone at this event.
Gary’s voice and one-liners will be very missed at the Lyle Area Cancer Auction and Lyle Independence Day Parade. He was very involved in these events for over 40 years. “That’s all she wrote” was a well-known conclusion that streamed from many Lyle events.
As fall approaches many dear friends, acquaintances, and “BS-ers” (as Gary would call them) will be gathering for the 13th season of BS Wednesdays (aka Braunschweiger Wednesday) at the Lyle Legion Club. This is a well-known Lyle Area Cancer Event. His so-called “brainstorm” reason for starting this gathering was to keep friends in touch during the winter when we tend to stay, as he put it, “locked up.”
Gary was VERY much a people person and will be remembered by many as saying “Make sure you spread the BS throughout the land.” He touched many far and wide with the braunschweiger analogies, especially his reference of “The Ground Prime Rib.”
One of the most important aspects of Gary’s life was spending time with family, in particular his grandchildren whom he proudly referenced as his “seven pieces of gold.”
Gary is survived by his wife, Cindy Ziegler; his son Cory (Megan) Ziegler of Claremont, MN; his daughter Colleen Ziegler (Dustin Newkirk) of Lyle, MN; his mother-in-law Betty Fisher of Lyle, MN; his brother-in-law Larry (Cindy) Ricke of Austin, MN; his brother-in-law Denny Ricke of Mona, Iowa; his sister-in-law Sue Adams (Erik Hollerud) of Austin, MN; and his “seven pieces of gold;” Asher Ziegler, Daphne Ziegler, Mila Ziegler, and Adrik Ziegler of Claremont, MN; and Korrie Crouch, Natalie Crouch and Leena Crouch of Lyle, MN. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, wonderful friends, and his special cat Caillou.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents Don and Dona Ziegler; his brothers Darwin Ziegler and Randy Ziegler; his infant sister Gail Ziegler; his brother-in-law Jeff Ricke; and his fathers-in-law Richard Ricke and Bob Fisher.
The family would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to Lyle First Responders, the Lyle Fire Department, Adams Ambulance Service, and the incredible nurses, doctors, and support staff at the ICU of the Nasseff Tower Unit 7A for the care and attention they provided. The entire Mayo Clinic staff was truly amazing during this difficult time. Their compassion, empathy and sympathy will always be remembered.
A memorial service will be held at 2:07 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Lyle, Minnesota. The visitation will take place from 4:07-7:07 p.m. on Friday, November 3, at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Interment will be in Woodbury Cemetery, Lyle, Minnesota. Gary’s memorial service will be livestreamed on the Our Savior’s Lutheran, Lyle Facebook page. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements.
Gary always said he wanted an “Oliver'' themed funeral. So the family is honoring that request by asking you to please dress casual in jeans, the infamous bib overalls, and Oliver Colors (The Original Green) or Oliver apparel if you so choose. This is a celebration of the life he lived, the love he shared, and the traditions he left behind for all to carry on for years to come.
The family would like to thank EVERYONE for the overwhelming support and prayers and for reaching out to us during this difficult time. Our hearts are truly filled with love. The family will be distributing memorials to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Lyle First Responders, the Lyle Fire Department, and to Lyle Area Cancer.
Rest In Peace “Z-Man-Dad-Papa”