Ellis R. “Zip” Zeller, 83

Ellis Raymond (Zip) Zeller, 83 of Lincoln, died Thursday, July 14, 2011 at home after an unyielding and courageous battle with cancer. He was born the fourth son of nine siblings Dec. 24, 1928, in Broken Bow, to Ellis Ransom and Gladys (Skinner) Zeller. He is survived by his wife, Minnie June (Buechler) Zeller; daughter, Debra Habib and husband Edward, grandsons, Austin Beezley of Austin, Texas and Bradley Beezley of Copperas Cove, Texas; friend, Brian Beezley of Copperas Cove, Texas; son, Michael Zeller and wife Karen (Augusta), grandsons Nicholas Zeller and Jesse Zeller, and fiancée of Nicholas Zeller, Dawn Beekman of Lincoln; grandchildren Jeremy, Kelley and Kyle Smith of Lincoln; friend Lyndon Nilsen of Lincoln, and great-grandchildren Zane and Zoey Nilsen of Lincoln; brother, Dennis Zeller, and sister, Donna Zeller, of California and his many nephews, nieces and friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Pamela Smith; parents, Ellis and Gladys Zeller; brothers, Zellis, Rolland and Robert, and sisters Zetta, Nadia and Joey. Ray attended Broken Bow High School, participated in track, basketball and lettered in football (quarterback) graduating in 1947. After serving four years in the US Navy, he married Minnie in October, 1951. For the next 59 wonderful years, Minnie and Ray were devoted to each other and their family. He was a master tool and die machinist and owner of Aztec Machine, retiring in 1983. He loved building things, and enjoyed many hobbies and sports - among them dancing, building and flying model airplanes, fishing, scuba diving, woodworking and cooking. Ray and Minnie loved dancing to the talented local and national country western musicians and bands with their many friends; 25 remarkable years with friends Ken and Pam Fink. His family and friends would like to commend and thank the professional and personable staff of the St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center HOSPICE Home Care Services that extended us the physical, emotional, spiritual and professional guidance and care that, along with the tenacious will and spirit of Ray, afforded his large circle of family and friends were five glorious months to reminisce, celebrate and share in his grand life. Special praise and appreciation to Dr. David Policky and Ms. Kathy Hanna, RN. Funeral services will be Friday, July 22, 2011, at 12:30 p.m. at Lincoln Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 6800 South 14th St., in Lincoln. Visitation will be 6-8 pm Thursday July 21, at Lincoln Memorial Park and Funeral Home. The family asks that memorials be made in lieu of flowers to the family or donor’s choice.Published in Custer County Chief, July 21, 2011