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Bellville Times



Gilbert R. Ziegenbein, 90, of New Ulm passed away on Thursday, April 2, 2009 in Bellville.   

Services were held on Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. from St. John Lutheran Church, New Ulm with the Rev. Milroy Gregor, officiating.

Interment followed in New Ulm Cemetery. Pallbearers were Burnie Galle, Malcolm Krause, Ervin Mieth, Ben D. Marek, Lee Reichle and David Schulz. Honorary pallbearers were Kenneth Jones and Floyd Tonn.

Gilbert R. Ziegenbein was born June 11, 1918 in the Salem Community to parents, Paul Ziegenbein and Melinda Rosenbaum Ziegenbein.

He was united in marriage on Nov. 26, 1945 to Miss Louise Kiel and they had one son, Kenneth.

Louise died in 1983. Gilbert married Ms.Wilma Kanter on Jan. 12, 1985.  

Gilbert graduated from Brenham High School in 1936. He attended Blinn College, University of Houston and Sam Houston State. Gilbert received a B.A. in elementary education.

He was a long-time school teacher. Gilbert started teaching at the Boundary School in Washington County, and then went to New Ulm from 1944 until the day it closed in 1963.

He then taught in Columbus for many years until his retirement. Gilbert also drove a school bus for over 20 years.

During the 1960ís until the 1980ís he worked part-time for the US Dept. of Agriculture, surveying land in the summer. As such, he traveled to every county in Texas except in the Panhandle. Gilbert was a charter member of the New Ulm Volunteer Fire Dept. and served as secretary-treasure for 50 years.

He was the only surviving charter member of that organization. He also served as a scout master for the boy scouts in New Ulm and served 15 years with the New Ulm Water District. Gilbert had many hobbies including playing his harmonica. He collected over 50 harmonicas.

Gilbert also enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, reading, gardening, Astros baseball and shortwave radio. He was one of the first small airplane pilots in the Salem-Brenham area in the early 1940ís. He obtained a pilotís license. Sometimes he would fly over peopleís homes and farms in the Salem area just to get their reaction. Gilbert wanted to join the Air Force in WWII but couldnít because he was needed on the farm. 

Gilbert is survived by his wife, Wilma Ziegenbein of New Ulm, son, Kenneth and wife, Sarah Ziegenbein of North Little Rock, Ark., sister, Aline Weiss of Salem Community, stepchildren, Jeanette Fair and husband, Vic of New Ulm, step-grandchildren, Erika Restivo and husband, Alan and step great-grandchild,  Finn Restivo.

Gilbert is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Louise Kiel Ziegenbein, brothers, Melvin and Lonnie Ziegenbein, and step-grandchild, Erick Kanter.

Memorial contributions may be made to the New Ulm Fire Dept., New Ulm. Texas or St. John Lutheran Church, New Ulm, Texas.

Services under the direction of Knesek Bros. Funeral Chapel in Bellville.

Posted by Joy Neely


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