Rudolph Michael Zeller, age 89 of Cochrane, WI died October 22, 2018 at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, MN after a short bout with pneumonia. Rudy was born November 22nd, 1928 in the town of Waumandee , WI to Fred and Wilma (Schmidtknecht) Zeller.
He married Elaine Schmidt on October 4th, 1950.
Rudy served in the armed forces in the 7th infantry and was stationed in Germany building bridges.
Rudy, along with Elaine, then went on to establish and run Rudy’s Red Owl and Elaine’s Variety in Cochrane, WI for 52 wonderful years.
The memory of Rudy in his apron welcoming you into his store with its original wood floors that he so carefully waxed will remain with many. They together created a place right out of a storybook where people gathered and shared their lives with them. You were known by name at Rudy’s and if you were new to the area you were warmly greeted and asked about your story. That’s just how it was. Rudy’s dedication went beyond the store as he was a member of several organizations such as the VFW, Lion’s Club, and Knights of Columbus and always offered a hand whenever he could. He was a devout catholic and a life time parishioner of St. Lawrence’s Parish. Rudy spent his free time woodworking, building dollhouses, and hunting but his real passion was for gardening. He grew the most stunning flowers, most notable his hibiscus, dahlias, and fern peonies which he was always happy to share with others. In 2015, Rudy moved into assisted living near his family in Lakeville, MN. Typical of Rudy, he soon made fast friends and participated in all the activities that his new place had to offer such as woodworking, gardening, art, and of course bingo. He enjoyed being able to spend much more time with his family. Wherever Rudy was, he was well liked. People went out of their way to share what a kind man he was and even at 89 he was still offering to help out.
Rudy was a quiet, gentle spirit beloved by many. His dedication to his community and helping others was second to none. He lived a simple but phenomenal life. He will be sadly missed by his son Brent (Kendra) Zeller of Lakeville, MN, granddaughter Brittany (Eric) Clapshaw, of St. Louis Park, MN , grandson Chase (Danny) Zeller of Minneapolis, MN, great grandsons Hudson and Miles Clapshaw.
Rudy was preceded in death by his wife Elaine of 63 years, and his son Bruce in 2007.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 10:30 AM at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Alma. Burial, with full military honors, will follow at Buffalo City Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Saturday from 9:30 AM until the time of the Mass.