May 24, 1921 – Feb. 20, 2018
Funeral services for Leonard Lyle Zierlein were held Feb. 27 at the Burlington Fire Hall. Leonard, 96, passed away Feb. 20 at the Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home.
Leonard was born May 24, 1921, in Arnold, Neb., the son of Samuel Edward and Minnie May Zierlein; he was the youngest of 10 children.
He married Carol June and they had five children: the late Jody Lynn Zierlein, Louis Lyle Zierlein, Glenda June Zierlein Willis, August Edward Zierlein, and Brenda June Zierlein Johnson.
He moved his family from Casper to Otto in 1976, where he farmed and ranched.
Life took Leonard from the sand hills of Nebraska to the mountains of Wyoming, through the Great Depression, World War II and the Blizzard of 1948-49; it also took him down many different paths. He was a soldier, a welder, government trapper, telephone linesman, logger, farmer, milkman, and his favorite, a cowboy.
He loved music. He played the piano, was a talented guitar player and learned to play the fiddle when he was 55 years old. He went on to win state championships and competed at the National Fiddle competition. Leonard also accompanied other fiddlers on guitar.
He had two last wishes, both of which were granted. On his 93rd birthday he took one last airplane ride, and in September 2015, he went fishing just above Shell Falls (he was the only one to land a fish).
He is survived by four children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.