Mueller Funeral Home - Winneconne WI

Francis J. Zeller

December 28, 1924 - August 7, 2017

Francis J. Zeller, age 92, of the town of Vinland died Monday August 7, 2017, at his home. He was born December 28, 1924, on the family farm in the town of Clayton to Francis and Flora (Haber) Zeller. He attended Mikesville School and graduated from Neenah High School in 1942. In February 1946 Francis married Shirley Slattery in Appleton and together they purchased the family farm next door in 1947.
Francis worked for Kimberly-Clark for several years while also operating the farm. He became a full-time farmer in 1955.
In 1961, Francis was part of an agricultural tour of the Soviet Union and Eastern Block Communist countries. While on the tour, he was in Berlin when the Berlin Wall was built.
In 1975, Francis went into the farm partnership with his son Jack. Together they applied agricultural pesticides on neighboring farms as a sideline, which became almost full-time springs and summers.
Francis was an FmHA committee member for 6 years in the early 60s and was a 4-H leader for 17 years. He served on the Badger Breeders Board until 1965 when he sold his herd of cattle due to health concerns. Francis served as a director of the Vinland Town Mutual Insurance Co. and the Farmers State Bank Board including Bank One of Neenah for over 20 years. He also served as a director on the Larsen Cooperative Board for 24 years and served as its President for 14 years.
He enjoyed playing Sheepshead, snowmobiling, motorcycling, camping, working (playing) with his computer and his stereo, dancing, 4-wheeling, telling jokes, and above all farming. Francis was still hauling and unloading wagons on the farm until he was 90 years of age.
Dad taught us the value of life and hard work and will be missed by so many, including his very special friend Evelyn Hug who he loved and cherished dearly.
Francis is survived by his three sons, Jim (Louise), Jack (Terry), and Dan (Kathy); grandchildren, Jacki Zeller (Jeff Yahn), Tim (Tracy) Meyer, Diana (Jon) Hintz, Laura Zeller, Corey (Kimberley) Zeller, and Kim (Joel) Vernon. He is further survived by many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Along with his parents, Francis was also preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Zeller, who died on May 8, 2005.
A visitation for family and friends will be on Thursday, August 10, 2017, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at St. Gabriel Catholic Church 900 Geiger St. Neenah. A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the church with Fr. Richard Allen officiating. Burial will be in St. Margaret Mary Cemetery, Neenah.
Francis' family wishes to thank the staffs of Home Instead Senior Care and ThedaCare at Home for the care and concern given to him.
If you wish please submit online condolences to

Tom and Lynn wrote on August 13, 2017
We just heard about the loss of your father Jack and want to express to you and your family members that all of you are in our thoughts.We will pray for all of you.Your father is with our LORD in a VERY SPECIAL PLACE!!!! You will all meet again someday,I know that in my heart.With love and prays to all. I

Marvin & Darlene Roth wrote on August 10, 2017
So sorry to hear of the death of Francis. We visited with him many times at dances around the area. He was a wonderful, caring man. He will be missed.

Linda Moss wrote on August 9, 2017
The world lost a great man with a heart of gold RIP

Kimberley Zeller wrote on August 9, 2017
When I think about Francis I think about a humble, honest, hardworking, gentle man that NEVER took ANYTHING for granted. That is a hard thing to find these days. In a world where people complain and criticize, Grandpa was the opposite. Thank you for your amazing legacy Francis! I am a better person for knowing you and loving you. Rest in Love Grandpa...until we see each other again.

Judy and Tom Schmude wrote on August 9, 2017
Jack and Family, What a wonderful legacy your Dad has left - the Zeller Children! You can tell what kind of man he was by his children! What a great man he was! His loss will be felt greatly, his memories will be cherished!

Dale and Carol Westphal wrote on August 9, 2017
Jim and Louise: Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. May your memories give you comfort.

Dave & Pat Feldkamp wrote on August 8, 2017
"Just a Farmer" Just a farmer you said, and I laughed because I knew all the things that farmers must be able to do. They must study the land, then watch the sky& just when is the right time & why. To sow & plant , to buy & sell to go to market with cattle & know the books farmers must keep, to pay all those taxes so they can sleep. You know the fixin farmers must do, when machines like mad monsters blow a gasket or two. I guess when God needed Folks to care for the Earth, He chose "just farmers" 'Cause He knew their true worth. God speed, dear Francis. From Dave & Pat Feldkamp

Dave & Pat Feldkamp wrote on August 8, 2017
We are so sorry for your loss. We were very fond of Francis, due to the fact that he was such a wonderful man, he made my mother, Evie, very happy, & we had a common interest; that being dairy farming. Francis enjoyed coming to our farm & seeing our 30 plus antique tractors & talking "good old days". We are so sorry we cannot attend the funeral, we are going to be out of town. God Bless Your Family,Our sincere condolences, Dave & Pat Feldkamp(Evie's daughter)

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