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Robert E. Zeller

bobzeller.jpgRobert E. Zeller, age 84, a longtime resident of Hoquiam, died on November 12, 2011, in Hoquiam, Washington. Mr. Zeller was born on January 17, 1927, in Seattle, Washington to George and Isis (LaCour) Zeller. He was raised on a farm south of Issaquah and graduated from Issaquah High School in 1945.

Three days after his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the US Navy and served on the USS Bronx during WWII, which traveled to the orient and transported troops back home. He was honorably discharged on July 30, 1946, at the rank of Quartermaster. He then served 8 years in the Navy reserve.

In 1951, he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Forest Management and began to work for ITT Rayonier as a Photogrammetrist and Timber Cruiser.  He retired in 1983 as a Regeneration Forester. He then worked for the Bureau of Land Management until 1986 and continued working as a surveyor until age 80.

Mr. Zeller had served on the Board of Directors for Grays Harbor Rayonier Federal Credit Union for 19 years, was a member of Northwest Forest Tree Seed Certifiers Association, Industrial Foresting Association Nursery Committee and Tree Seed Council.  In addition he was a member of the Hoquiam Elks and Lions Clubs.

In addition to Bob’s passion for forestry, he enjoyed boating in Puget Sound, family functions, photography, gardening, working crossword puzzles, helping his sons with house projects and traveling.  He particularly enjoyed spending the winter months in Lake Havasu City.

On July 12, 1958, he married Gloria Christian in Aberdeen. Gloria survives at the family home in Hoquiam. In addition to Gloria, surviving relatives include two sons Bruce Zeller of Shelton and Scott (Cheri) Zeller of Olympia; two granddaughters, Erica and Kady; a brother Jim Zeller of Wenatchee and numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Karen Trader of Everett and Phyllis Harstam of Issaquah.

A funeral service with military honors will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 19, 2011, at the Coleman Mortuary Chapel with the Rev. Jeannie Shofner, officiating. A private entombment will take place at Aberdeen’s Fern Hill Cemetery.

The family suggests that remembrances be made to the Memorial Fund at Hoquiam Presbyterian Church.


John Heelen O’Connor

John Heelen O’Connor, 89, died Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at Alpine Way Assisted Living in Shelton, WA.  He was born in Brunswick, Maryland to Cecil Heelen and Edna Marie (Stickley) O’Connor on August 15, 1922. 

John earned is BS at Shepard College, Martinsberry, WV and MS at Illinois State University at Normal IL.  He served in the USMC during WWII retiring from the Reserve as a Major in 1962.  On April 6, 1946 he married Natalie Osterhaudt in Brunswick, Maryland.  He taught history in Junior and Senior High School in Illinois for ten years.  John was then a sales representative for the Rand McNally Company in Colorado and in Washington for 15 years.  He was a member of the Marine Corp League and enjoyed trains, history, fishing, cruising in Alaska, Mexico and Caribbean. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Edna O’Connor; wife, Natalie O’Connor; and son, John P. O’Connor.  John is survived by his daughters, Michael Kriegbaum (Rich) of Allyn, WA and Connie Salmen (Wayne) of Longmont, CO; son, Thomas O’Connor (partner, Roberto Espinoza) of San Francisco; and six grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

Inurnment will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery Denver, Colorado. The family was served by McComb Funeral Shelton, Wa.

Wilma L. Herrel

herrelwilma.jpgWilma Lee Herrel, 83, of Shelton, WA went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. Wilma was born on April 28, 1928 to Ernest and Tessie (Searle) Phillips in Ridgely, Missouri. Mrs. Herrel was one of eight children born to a minister of the Assembly of God Church and his wife. She met her husband Elmer Herrel Sr. at the age of 15 and the two were married at 17 in July of 1945 in Baxter Springs, Kansas. They were married for 64 years upon his passing in 2009.

Wilma was a homemaker. She loved the Lord and was a member of the Bethel Assembly of God Church and church secretary for 30 years. She and Elmer were youth group counselors for many years, a member of the Women’s Mission Group and of Primetimers (a retired group of seniors from the Assembly of God Church) and very, very active in the church. Her hobbies included sewing (making her children’s clothing with patterns she made herself), crocheting, needlepoint, flower gardening, cooking and baking. She loved to sing and enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her family and friends take comfort in knowing she is now reunited with her husband in Heaven.

She is survived by her daughter, Becky Willis, Shelton; sons, Erv (Deb) Herrel and Elmer Herrel Jr, both of Shelton; brother, Eston Phillips, Nampa, Idaho; sisters, Thelma Lee, Shelton and Geneva Sjurson of Boise, ID, seven grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Burial will take place on Monday, November 7 at Shelton Memorial Park at 2 pm. A memorial service will be held at the Bethel Assembly of God Church on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm. McComb Funeral Home was honored to serve this family.