Cover photo for Merrill Edward Zieman's Obituary
Merrill Edward Zieman Profile Photo
1948 Merrill 2023

Merrill Edward Zieman

May 16, 1948 — June 28, 2023

Merrill Edward Zieman was born in Glencoe, Minnesota on May 16, 1948. He was the son of Elmer and Estella (Genz) Zieman. The third in the family of four siblings; sister Sheryl, older brother Randy and younger brother Chuck. He was baptized and later confirmed in his faith at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brownton, Minnesota.

Merrill was raised on a dairy farm northeast of Stewart, Minnesota where he attended Stewart Public Schools and was class salutatorian of the class of 1966. Merrill participated in high school sports and after graduation attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, Minnesota where he played football and graduated with a degree in teaching and physical education. After college, he was employed as a teacher at Gibbon Public Schools in Gibbon, Minnesota, where he also served as head football coach.

During his years at Gustavus, he met Laurel (Lori) Jenkins. They were married in 1973 and began an adventure together that lasted for 43 years until Lori passed away on May 11, 2016. Soon after their wedding, Merrill and Lori moved to Perth, Australia on a two year teacher exchange program. Shortly upon returning from Australia, they joined the Peace Corps for another lengthy stay in Bogota, Colombia. Upon returning to Minnesota, they embarked on work and service that would occupy the rest of their lives - beginning with a residential group home that housed and cared for six kids with developmental challenges. This was a job that was 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Later they were employed by organizations that worked with individuals with special needs, Merrill now with his masters in psychology and Lori with her masters in social work.

Merrill's life centered around his faith, family, friends and neighbors. Merrill and Lori placed everyone's needs before their own. Their needs were always secondary. Blessed be your memory of Merrill. Blessed be your memory of Merrill and Lori.

Merrill is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Sheryl and Bill Exsted; Brothers and sisters-in-law, Randy and Mary Zieman, Chuck and Woody Zieman; Brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Craig and Bobbi Jenkins; Many nieces and nephews; cousins; friends; neighbors and additional family members. Also surviving is his loyal companion: his dog Willie.

He was preceded in death by his wife Lori, his parents, and father and mother-in-law, Willard and Florence Jenkins.

Our heartfelt appreciation to family, friends, neighbors and St Stephens' Lutheran Church for everyone's amazing display of love and support during this time. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 am on Friday July 7, with visitation one hour prior to service, at St Stephen's Lutheran Church, 1575 Charlton St, West St Paul, Minnesota, 55118. Memorials are preferred to St Stephens Church. No flowers please.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merrill Edward Zieman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, July 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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