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Gary's Story

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Gary Lee Zaiser went to be with Jesus on November 4, 2017 after a number of difficult years with Parkinson's Disease. Gary was born on November 8, 1934 in Hartley, IA the younger of two children of Harolyn Sophis Willis Zaiser and Leona Marie (Brinkert) Zaiser. The Zaisers lived in several different locations in the Hartley area during Gary's childhood including a farm outside of Hartley. In 1953, Gary graduated from Hartley High School where he was co-valedictorian and participated in football and track. In 1957, he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from South Dakota State University where he was also a member of the rifle team and Coronel of the Corps of Cadets. After his college graduation, Gary took a position as an engineer with DuPont in Clinton, IA where he met Carol Matthews, then a second-grade teacher in Davenport, IA. They were married on April 20, 1958 in the First Methodist Church. Soon after, Gary was called up for active duty in the US Air Force and stationed at Sembach Air Base in Germany where he served as the lieutenant in charge of the motor pool. After nearly two years in Germany, and the birth of their first son, David, the family returned to Clinton, where Gary rejoined DuPont and the family joined Trinity Lutheran Church. About one year later, Gary was transferred to Wilmington, DE with DuPont and the family transferred to Concordia Lutheran Church. In Wilmington, they were blessed with a second son, Tom, and a daughter, Nancy.
Gary, Carol and family joined Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Newark, DE in January 1965 and were active members there for 45 years. Gary served the congregation twice as its president and as an elder several terms. In December 2009 Gary and Carol moved to Maris Grove in Glen Mills, PA and transferred back to Concordia Lutheran Church in Wilmington. Gary worked for 38 years at DuPont, primarily with Hytrel in the polymer research group at Chestnut Run and the Experimental Station. He was awarded the DuPont Marketing Excellence Award in 1991 for his role in the development of front wheel drive boots. He retired from DuPont in 1994 as a research associate. Gary was an accomplished bridge player, adored movies (especially westerns) and loved watching sports, especially the Olympics, which he witnessed in person with Carol and family in 1996 in Atlanta. He particularly enjoyed researching genealogy and assembled a thorough family tree for both the Zaiser and Matthews. Carol and Gary were blsed with a wonderful family: David, Tom and Nancy, their spouses: Katherine Hober, Kelly Herron and David Cordrey; and six grandchildren: Adam, Hayden, Logan, Claire, Andrew and Caroline. Gary was pre-deceased by Carol, his wife of 55 years, in 2013. Left to cherish Gary's memory are his three children and six grandchildren: a sister and brother-in-law: Billie and Harlan Geerdes of Hartley, IA; and nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service will be held at Concordia Lutheran Church, 3003 Silverside RD., Wilmington, DE 19810 on Friday, November 17th at 1PM where friends may call at Noon. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to "Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research". Online condolences may be made by visiting www.paganofuneralhome.com
Published on November 14, 2017
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