Dean Michael Zeller, 70, passed away March 3, 2017, in Gillette, Wyo., after a short hospital stay. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 6, at the Legion Hall in Springville from 1 to 5 p.m., with his siblings hosting. A time of sharing will begin at 3:30 p.m. Inurnment will take place immediately following the Celebration of Life at the Springville Cemetery, Springville. Military honors will be provided by Springville American Legion Post 331.
He was born in Grinnell, Iowa, on Feb. 6,
1947, the second of 12 children born to Joe and Fern Zeller. He lived in rural Brooklyn, Iowa, his first 14 years, then the family moved to Springville, where he graduated from high school in 1965. He served in the Army as a Nike missile technician, including a tour in Germany. After being honorably discharged, Dean attended NIACC in Mason City and the University of South Dakota. During college, he spent summers working for a wheat harvesting crew, which took him from Texas to Wyoming. This led to him relocating in Gillette, Wyo., and in 1978, he began working for Amax Coal Co. (now Alpha Coal West). He spent more than 30 years in the coal extraction business until his retirement in 2011. In 1988, Dean married Claretta Fresorger, and they especially enjoyed their stepgrandchildren and traveling around the southwest United States, Canada and Mexico.
He is survived by his siblings, Mary (Chuck) Barnes of Anamosa, Betty (Don) Hoffman of Springville, Bob (Lyn) Zeller of Leawood, Kan., Julie Hoffman of Marion, Carol Zeller of Richmond, Va., Mark (Janice) Zeller of Ottumwa, Ted (Theresa) Zeller of Solon, Janet (Jim) McCarthy of Kansas City, Joel (Kris) Zeller of Maple Grove, Minn., Jean (Scot) Hanna of Marion and Steve (Lorri) Zeller of Washington, Ind.; as well as many extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Claretta; his parents, Joseph and Fern Zeller; a nephew, Shay Zeller; and great-niece, Addison Gregory.