William "Bill" Ziegler obit photo

1924-2020 • Formerly of La Grande

William “Bill” Ziegler, 96, formerly of La Grande, died Dec. 20, 2020, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Nampa, Idaho.

Flag — veteran obits

Known as Bill, he was born July 20, 1924, in La Grande. As a young man he went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. He later worked for Amtrak, retiring after 42 years of service to the railroad.

Bill served his country as a Merchant Marine in the Pacific Theatre during World War II and later became an instructor for the Coast Guard Artillery.

Some of Bill’s favorite memories were of his early years hunting and fishing with his father and family. He carried these interests with him throughout his life whether it was on the Pacific Ocean as a charter boat captain or trolling for salmon out of his boat, appropriately named “The Z Gull,” or on the banks of Brownlee Reservoir with a simple bobber and jig catching crappie. He also really enjoyed being outdoors with his buddies and a good chainsaw cutting firewood.

Bill was a master woodworker, building things for family and friends as well as his own house in Bay City. For years he shot competition trap and was very rarely beat. He earned countless trap shooting trophies and awards and served as the president of the La Grande Trap Club.

Bill was witty and had a droll humor. He enjoyed being a member of the Elks for more than 40 years. He was a member of the city council in Bay City for eight years.

Bill had three children with his first wife, Ellen Davis: Jim Ziegler (married to Diane) of Richland, Washington; Linda (married to Dale Kruse) of La Grande; and Kurt Ziegler of Sisters. He later married Betty and gained three stepchildren: Ronald Burch, Donald Burch and Nancy Burch. Ronald and Nancy preceded him in death.

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