The Roundup -

Thomas Ziegler, 86, Helena, MT


Thomas Ziegler

Thomas Ziegler, loving father and grandfather passed away on Feb.1, 2013 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena Montana. He was born on June 1, 1927 in Napoleon, ND. Though raised in a small town, he had many happy memories of his time spent on his grandpa Schumacher’s farm north of town. At the age of 17 he joined the Merchant Marines. VJ day occurred while his convoy was two days out of Liverpool, England. On the voyage home, his ship returned many veterans of the fighting in Europe. Soon after his one convoy, he left the Merchant Marines and returned to Napoleon to finish high school. He then joined the Navy and served for four years as an electrician. He sailed on the cruiser USS Fargo (CL-106) to many ports on the Mediterranean Sea. He later served on the US Wheatear (AM-390), a mine sweeper based at Charleston, South Carolina. He settled for a while in Charleston, SC and on Nov. 21, 1951, he married Rosemary Schneider. They eventually had four children. Tom and Rosemary moved their family back north, and he began working for Montana Dakota Utility Company. He brought his family to Sidney, MT in 1957 where he helped start up the electrical generating plant on the Yellowstone river south of town. He and Rosemary remained there until 2001, when they moved to Helena, MT. Tom enjoyed gardening (his passion), painting, “tinkering,” old westerns, do it yourself projects, and baking, especially with Alyssa. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren. Tom often invited some or all of his family over for Sunday dinner, which was the setting for so many warm and wonderful memories. He was a good man with a wicked sense of humor and a positive outlook on life. Tom was also a man of deep faith and was very active in his Sidney, MT parish of St. Matthew. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Felix and Eva (Schumacher) Ziegler, his wife, Rosemary (Schneider) Ziegler, and brothers Joe, Tony, Frank and Ben. He is survived by his sister, Barbara Klein of Bismarck, ND; children Judy of Helena; Michael (Jane Lee) of Clancy, MT; Patrick (Chong Kwak) of Federal Way, WA; Anthony (Kelley) of Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren Paul Schmidt, Alyssa, Nathan, Brandon, Jeramy, Allyson, and Nicholas Ziegler. He was tickled to become a great-grandfather when Jude Ziegler was born this past year. He also has numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to extend a very special “thank you” to the nurses and doctors of St. Peter’s Dialysis Unit. Thank you for making it possible for us to have the past 12 years with Tom. Donations in Tom’s name can be made to the St. Peter’s Dialysis Unit, any food bank charity or a charity of your choice.

A Vigil Service is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at Retz Funeral Home Chapel with a small reception to follow the Vigil at Retz Funeral Home. A Mass is set for 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at St. Mary’s Catholic Community Church. Burial with Military Honors will follow the Mass at Resurrection Cemetery. To offer a condolence or share a memory of Thomas, please visit


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