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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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January 25, 2022

11/26/2021 5:29:00 AM
Clifford Lee Zettler

Clifford Lee Zettler was born on March 16, 1938, the son of Emil and Jessie (Miller) Zettler. He went to his heavenly family on Nov. 15, 2021. He was a lifetime member of Zion Lutheran Church, where he faithfully served whenever and whereever needed, even cutting boughs to make garland to decorate the church for Christmas.

Cliff graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1957. He joined the United States Army, serving three years active duty and three years active reserve. In 1961, Cliff met his wife, Karen Stanley, at the Rhinelander bowling alley. They were married on May 5, 1962 and God blessed them with over 59 years of marriage.

Cliff retired from the Rhinelander Paper Company with 38 years of employment. He also served on the mill's fire brigade. He then drove school bus for more than 18 years for Bowen's Bus Service. He mostly enjoyed driving the sports trips that allowed him to watch his grandchildren play.

Cliff was born and raised on his dad's farm, where he lived his whole life. He enjoyed working the land. He had a working sawmill, that he had spent a lot of time for many of those years. He enjoyed spending time in the woods, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, skating and sledding. In the spring of the year, he spent many hours at his sister Nancy and her husband Richard's home collecting and making maple syrup. He also enjoyed camping, swimming and spending time with his family and friends.

Cliff was hard working, but also enjoyed life. He was always ready to lend a helping hand. Cliff was strong, kind, loving, gentle, and always putting others first. He was respectful and loved by many, but mostly he loved being surrounded by family and friends. He will be greatly missed.

Cliff is survived by his wife Karen, his five children: Colleen Geiger (Del), Laura Gilbert (Brian), Wendy Bowen (Jeff), Kimberly Weyers (Brian), and Todd Zettler (Mary), his nine grandchildren that he was very proud of, and six great-grandchildren that he treasured, his three sisters Beryl Zastrow, Nancy Robinson and Mona Shampton, numerous nieces and nephews, other family and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Emil and Jessie Zettler, his brother Marvin, and sisters Theda Zettler and Carol Zastrow.

Memorial services for Cliff will be held on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 at 10 a.m. at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church with Reverend Karl Schultz officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 at the Carlson Funeral Home from 4 to 7 p.m. You may leave your private condolences for Zettler family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Zettler family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 26, 2021
Article comment by: Brian Bloomquist

Our condolences to the Zettler family and extended families. Rest easy my friend. Your teachings will never be forgotten!

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