Our beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather Robert (Doc) Zierke died on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at home in Mesquite, Nevada, at the age of 94 after a long and blessed life.
Doc was born to Robert Frederick and Sophie Amelia (Madetzke) Zierke on July 24, 1928, at home on the farm northwest of Elmore, MN. He was baptized on August 19, 1928, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, rural Elmore, and confirmed on September 20, 1942, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Elmore. He attended country school until 8th grade and then Elmore Public School. After leaving school he worked on the family farm.
Doc married Betty Lou Miller on January 1, 1950, at St. Matthew’s Church, Stevens, IA. Doc and Betty had three children, Roberta (Bobbie), Bennett, and Bruce.
In 1957, with not enough land in the Elmore area to support Doc and his brother Wes, they both moved to farm in Stevens County, MN. From 1957 to 1968, they raised crops, hogs, and cattle. In the spring of 1968, after financial difficulties in farming, he moved the family to Southern Minnesota to work on cattle and chicken farms. When Bennett and Bruce desired to farm, Doc and Betty returned to the Chokio area in 1970 to reestablish the farming operations. From 1970 to 1978, the farm grew from 7 sows to 500 sows in a partnership with his sons. Doc loved everything about raising hogs and enjoyed working with his family. After semi-retirement, he continued to work for Bruce and the Zierke Company, delivering breeding stock, mowing lawns etc. During his farming years, Doc was active in the National Farmer’s Organization and Stevens County Pork Producers.
Doc and Betty moved to Chokio, then to Morris in 1997. They spent winters in Mesquite, Nevada until moving there in 2019 to live with their daughter. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, golfing, gardening, and traveling to many countries including Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, and the UAE.
Doc is survived by his wife Betty Zierke of Mesquite, NV; daughter Roberta Kale of Mesquite, NV; sons Bennett (Wendy) Zierke of Hancock, MN, and Bruce (Mary Pat) Zierke of Morris, MN. Doc enjoyed his 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Grandchildren include Christine (Javier) Ayala-Zierke of Morris, MN; Leah (Chad) Ver Steeg of Hancock, MN; Jamie Shelley of Alexandria, MN; Adam (Amy) Zierke of Alexandria, MN; Keri (Michael) Zierke of Morris, MN; Kyle (Courtney) Zierke of Morris, MN; Lora (Derek) Zierke of Morris, MN; John (Ashlee) Zierke of Morris, MN; Caleb Zierke of Redding, CA; Ryan Zierke of Hancock, MN; Joel Zierke of Redding, CA; and Jacob Zierke of Hancock, MN. Great-grandchildren include Xavier, Alexandro, Carlos, and David Ayala Zierke, Samuel, Jackson, Malachi, Baylor, and Eliana Ver Steeg, Evangeline Shelley, AJ and Amelia Zierke, Joseph, Lydia, David, and Abigail Zierke, Larken, Marcus, Judah, and Wilder Zierke, and Synin Zierke. Step grandchildren Richard Kale, James Kale, Eduardo Ayla Magana, Ziva Craig and several nieces and nephews survive him.
Doc was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Sophie, siblings Donald (Betty) Zierke, Wesley (Lucy) Zierke, and Mary (Richard) Kitzmann; son-in-law Stuart Kale; and great-granddaughter Sophia Ver Steeg.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, August 20, 2022, at 11:00 AM PDT at the Mesquite Lutheran Church, Mesquite, NV.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Bruce and Mary Pat Zierke home at 27 Riverview Drive, Morris, MN, on Saturday, September 24, from 1 – 4 pm. Lunch will be served. Everyone is welcome.