Rodney “Rod” R. Zabel, age 84 of Clintonville, passed away on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah with his loved ones at his side from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
Rod was born on July 19, 1930 as the son of the late Herman and Hazel (Zimmerman) Zabel in the Town of Belle Plaine, Shawano County. He was baptized and confirmed at the Evangelical Church in Clintonville. Rod attended twelve years of school in Clintonville where he was honored to play quarterback for the first championship football team in 1947. Upon completing a year of school at Milwaukee School of Engineering, he was called to serve his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. After his term in Korea, and three years of service, Rod returned to Clintonville and bought into a small business where he finished his working career. On September 15, 1979 he married Marcy Piehl at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Green Bay. The couple resided in Clintonville where they were members of Christus Lutheran Church. Rod served 60 years of his lifetime membership with the Clintonville American Legion Post 63 and VFW Post 664 where he also served as past commander. He was a brother Mason and also a Tripoli Shriner. Some of Rod’s greatest enjoyments were trout fishing, deer hunting, and working in the woods; as he loved the outdoors.
He is survived by: his wife Marcy of 35 years; daughter, Jodi (fiance Bryon Frazee) Drefahl; three step-children: Lisa Langyel, Brenda (Bob) Kitzman and Marc (Rachelle) Piehl; five step-grandchildren: Misty Pickett, Breanne, Wade and Gina Piehl, and Mariah Langyel; two step-great-grandchildren, Brenna and Isabella Pickett; siblings: Willadeen Much, Ramona (Ken) Oltrogge, Archie and Duane “Butch” Zabel. Also surviving are isters-in-law, Julie (Don) Lichtenberg and Debbie (Tom) Yaeger. and a very special friend, Bob McCoy. Rod was preceded in death by his parents, a son-in-law, Jeff Langyel and a grandson-in-law Jesse Pickett.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville with Rev. Brian Crocker officiating. Interment will follow at Graceland Cemetery also in Clintonville with military honor rites conducted by members of the Clintonville American Legion and VFW. Friends may call at the Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory in Clintonville from 4 – 8 p.m. Wednesday and at the church on Thursday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. An online guestbook can be found for Rod at www.eberhardtstevenson.com.