Fern Clarice Zinniel, the daughter of Clarence and Clara (Hippe) Stroman, was born on March 1, 1934, on a farm near Swanville in Morrison County, MN. Fern graduated from high school on May 28, 1952, in Upsala, MN. At a dance, she met the love of her life, Elmer Zinniel. Together they were united in marriage on June 2, 1952, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Grey Eagle, MN. Together they lived in Fayetteville, NC while Elmer served in the United States Army for two years. Fern and Elmer moved back to Minnesota eventually settling in Coon Rapids where Fern stayed at home to raise their children. In 1967, Fern began working at Unisys until she retired because of health issues in 1989. In 1992, Fern and Elmer moved to Alexandria, MN, to enjoy a wonderful retirement full of exciting and memorable activities.
Fern was extremely proud of her family. She was a loving wife to Elmer and a wonderful mother to her children. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She made their visits special by making their favorite treat or meal when they came to visit. Fern liked to take photos. She was lovingly called “Photo Fern” by her family because she was always taking a picture of family events. She tended to beautiful flower gardens over the years and loved to take Elmer dancing. Like Fern would often say, “It all started with a dance.”
Fern C. Zinniel died on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Alomere Health at the age of 87 years old. She is survived by her loving husband of almost 69 years, Elmer Zinniel of Alexandria; sons, Ronald Zinniel (Joe Riege) of Roseville and David Zinniel (Jacque) of Blaine; daughters, Carol Johnsen of Rochester, Donna Schmit (Rick) of Maple Grove, and Julie Best (Tom) of Sandstone; daughter in law Debbie Zinniel, 12 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and her brother, Curtis Stroman (Marcia) of Bloomington. Fern was preceded in death by her “angel grandson”, David Ross Best; her parents; brother, Jerome (Bud) Stroman (Janet); and her sister, Helen Swanson (Roger).
A Memorial Service will be held Monday, July 12, 2021 at 11 AM at the Camp Ripley Chapel near Little Falls, MN, with interment to follow at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Camp Ripley.
Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory. www.andersonfuneral.net