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Donald W. (Sparky) Zierath


Don died on Dec. 21, 2019, in Marion, Iowa. He crossed over to worship at the throne of our Lord.
Don was born Nov. 26, 1932, in New Hampton, Iowa, to Walter and Ruth (Hutchinson) Zierath.
They moved to Waterloo, Iowa, when he was in eighth grade.
His parents joined Zion Lutheran Church where he met Marian Krumrey. They were together at West Junior High School and he graduated in 1950 from West High School. He enrolled at Iowa State University in the College of Engineering and graduated in 1954. In addition to his diploma, he was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He spent two years on active duty and six years in the reserves attaining the rank of captain.
In the summer of 1953, he took a brief pause and he and Marian were married. They raised four sons: David (Pam) Larabee-Zierath (West Liberty), Bill Zierath (Petersburg, Ill.), Mark (Therese Misgen) Zierath (Grand Marais, Minn.), and Paul (Christine) McCune-Zierath (St. Paul, Minn.). Joining them are five grandchildren, Jennifer (Joseph) Zierath-Lowe, Daniel Zierath, Sharon Zierath, Douglas and Joseph McCune-Zierath. Following closely are great-grandson, Alex, and a new great-grandchild on the way this January.
After leaving active duty in the Army, Don worked at the Iowa State Highway Commission in their Ames office. While there, he held several positions and wrote his first computer program. When he left, he became a consultant and manager in the data processing departments for a series of four insurance companies.
Each change of job resulted in moving their home. After Don was hired by Life Investors in 1985, he and Marian moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. While there, Don was named as one of the "Nine Who Care" by KCRG-TV.
Following his retirement, Don volunteered in several organizations. He particularly enjoyed his involvement with his church, St. Stephen's Lutheran, and served with the United Way of East Central Iowa. He was a lifelong Rotarian.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids by Pastor Tim Smith. A visitation will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at the church. Burial: Cedar Memorial Cemetery. Teahen Funeral Home is serving the family.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.teahenfuneralhome.com.
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