Russell O. Zirbel, 84, of West Bend passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at Riverway Place in West Bend.
He was born on March 30, 1925, on the family farm in the town of Herman to the late Raymond and Amelia (nee Priest) Zirbel. Russell attended Mayville High School and went on to serve his country honorably in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a member of the B17 bomber crew. After his discharge from the Army in 1946, he moved to West Bend with his parents. In 1951, Russell earned his bachelor of science from Oshkosh State Teachers College and in 1953, he earned his master of arts in English at Colorado State College of Education. He taught school in Woodstock, Ill., and Montana for a short time before becoming a kettle operator for the former Freeman Chemical Company in Saukville. He translated German at the Washington County Historical Society, the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend and the Hartford History Room. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Washington County Senior Center.
Russell is survived by his sister, Ruby Krueger of Gainesville, Fla., formerly of Mequon; seven nieces and nephews, Karen, Maureen, Tim, Terry, Charlene, Kate and Cynthia; other relatives and close friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Raymond Zirbel Jr.; and his sister, Ruth Harrison.
Funeral services in remembrance of Russell were held on Saturday, June 27, at 11 a.m. at the Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend. Visitation was at the funeral home on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Entombment with military honors was Monday, June 29, at 11 a.m. in Washington County Memorial Park.
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