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Obituary for Edgar L. "Ed" Zellmer


Edgar L. "Ed" Zellmer
Edgar L. "Ed" Zellmer, 85, of West Salem, died Friday, January 21, 2011, at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tomah, Wis. 
He was born August 2, 1925, in Prairie Farm, Wis., to Edward and Jennie (Stanke) Zellmer.  The son of a minister, Ed spent his childhood across various Wisconsin communities.  He graduated from Baraboo High School in 1941 with plans for going to college to become a journalist.  Obviously, like so many others of his generation, fate had other plans for him.  Ed enlisted the U.S. Army and proudly served in the 41st Infantry Regiment of the Second Armored Division during WWII.  He was a member of the Regiment's Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon.  Ed entered the war through Normandy's Omaha Beach on D-Day +1 and fought in five major campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe.  He was one of the very first troops to enter Berlin as part of the 2nd Armored Division's role as the major unit for occupation of the U.S. zone.  Ed received numerous decorations for his heroism and self-sacrifice.  He was most proud of receiving the Bronze Star, Presidential Citation (July 29, 1944, Battle of the Bulge), and Belgium's Fourragère (as a liberating troop of that country).  Ed's service to his country has been a great sense of pride, dignity, and honor.  After returning home from WWII on January 8, 1946, Ed never did enter college, rather, he entered the workforce as a blue collar worker, most notably as a milkman with the Borden Company.  On February 10, 1948, he was married to the love of his life, Opal Menn, in Sparta, Wis., by his father, Rev. E.A. Zellmer.  Shortly after being saddened by Opal's passing on January 23, 2005, Ed moved from West Salem to the Tomah VA.  Due to the wonderful care he received there, he was able to continue to bring joy to those around him each and every day.  Ed was the best husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend anyone could hope for!  His family will cherish the years they had together and are comforted knowing that he is once again reunited with Opal. 
Survivors include one daughter, Nancy (Greg) Olson of West Salem; two sons, James (Teri) of Forestville, Wis. and John (Kelli) of Stevens Point, Wis.; a daughter-in-law, Laurie (Keith) Chambers of West Salem; five grandchildren, Shawn (Eve) Zellmer, Nicole (Eric) Jandro, Joe (Carla) Zellmer, and Jonathon, and Andrew Zellmer; one step-grandson, Michael Olson; three great-grandchildren, Drew Zellmer and Ashley and Jacob Jandro; one sister, Lois (Lyle) Nestingen of Madison, Wis; two sisters-in-law, Helen Fink of Denver, Colo. and Harriet (David) Benedict of Carrollton, Texas; two step-sisters-in-law, Janet Krismer of Stoddard and Alice (Jack) Shefchik of Incline Village, Nev.; four step-brothers-in-law, Philip (Laura) Gajewsky of Dysart, Iowa, Allen (Ann) Gajewsky of Owen, Wis., and Richard "Dick" (Eileen) Gajewsky and Hans Ammundson, both of Sparta; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.  In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Steven; his sister, Esther (Bill) Comings; and other relatives.
Memorial services will be Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church of West Salem, 625 W. Franklin St.  Pastor Stephanie M. Steiner will officiate.  Burial will be in Neshonoc Cemetery with military honors by the Berg-Hemker-Olson American Legion Post 51 of West Salem and the U.S. Army Funeral Honor Guard.  Friends may call at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in order to purchase a bench in Ed's honor to be placed in the Alzheimer's Memory Garden at the Tomah VA.  Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, (Jostad Chapel), West Salem, is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.