Obituary Listings

Kenneth Ziebarth

November 15, 1927 July 8, 2017
Kenneth Ziebarth
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Obituary for Kenneth Ziebarth

KENNETH JAMES ZIEBARTH (89) of Pipestone, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2017, surrounded by his family after a 3-year-long battle with lung cancer. He leaves his family and community a legacy as a quiet, dignified man of principle.

Ken was born in Wrenshall, Minnesota on November, 15 1927, to William and Annie (Habbeger) Ziebarth. He was the youngest of 10 children and half of the third set of twins in the family. His twin sister, Kathryn, passed away when they were five. He grew up on the Ziebarth family farm experiencing the effects of the Great Depression. Too young to enlist, he worked the farm while his brothers served in the United States Army during World War II. He graduated from Wrenshall High School and then served in the Army, stationed in Alaska.

Ken married Frances Marie Gurneau during a snowstorm at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Cloquet, MN on November 20, 1948. They lived in Cloquet while he attended the University of Duluth for two years and relocated to St. Paul where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture at the University of Minnesota - St. Paul campus. In 1952, Ken and his family moved to Houston, MN where he began his career teaching Vocational Agriculture. They relocated to Fulda, MN where he developed their first agriculture program. He then attained an Administrative/Science Master's Degree at Mankato State University in 1968.

Ken, Fran, and their family settled in Pipestone in 1968 where he was a high school counselor for 23 years before retiring in 1991. His 39 year teaching/counseling tenure was complemented with additional activities he enjoyed including being FFA advisor and assistant golf coach. He often joked, 'I've been going to school all of my life!' In retirement, Ken was elected to the Pipestone School Board and served 13 years. Ken was instrumental in the planning and development of the Pipestone Area High School. He was a passionate advocate for students and public education. He enjoyed visits with many former students who stopped by over the years. Ken also spent time serving his community as an Elks member and EMT for the Pipestone ambulance.

Ken said that he “found his religion in his garden” as he always had a large one, and he spent his final years tending his apple orchard. He was a stickler for rules, except when counting his own cribbage points and, at times, sitting at the bridge table. Ken appreciated nutrition, preferring dry toast and coffee most mornings for breakfast. He enjoyed golfing, hunting, watching the Twins and Vikings, and waiting for his Gophers to return to the Rose Bowl. Ken entertained many as a prolific storyteller. Above all, he loved his family and the time spent with them. Ken and Fran made a great team caring for each other and raising their family during their 69 years together. They were the biggest cheerleaders for all their children and grandchildren.

Ken is lovingly remembered by his wife, Fran, of Pipestone; six children, Kathryn (Jerry, PhD) Stark of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Michael Ziebarth of Cloquet, Minnesota, David (Michelle) Ziebarth, MD, of Memphis, Tennessee, Deane Ziebarth of St. Paul, Minnesota, Karen Ziebarth of Adel, Iowa, and Theresa Ziebarth-Moritz of Alexandria, Minnesota; 19 grandchildren, Brian (Sue) Stark, James (Rhonda) Stark, Willie (Trisha) Ziebarth, Katie (Barry) Ptak, DVM, Kathie (Michael) Klumper, DVM, Jared Ziebarth, Jesse (Sarah, MD) Ziebarth, PhD, Matt (Liz Bruno) Ziebarth, Piper Ziebarth, Kellie Ziebarth, Nikki (Nick) Deardorf, Eric DeSplinter, Tim DeSplinter, Michael Moritz, Erica Moritz, Taylor Moritz, Nicholas Moritz; 18 great-grandchildren, Emma Stark, Matthew Stark, Gabriel Stark, Sadie Stark, Madison Ziebarth, Brooklyn Ziebarth, Allie Ptak, Cody Ptak, Dylan Klumper, Ezekiel Ziebarth, Josephine Ziebarth, Margaret Ziebarth, Merritt Ziebarth, Rufus Ziebarth, Gambrel Deardorf, Dysen Deardorf, and Renaud Deardorf. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, William and Annie (Habbeger) Ziebarth; brothers, Raymond, William, Wesley, Carl, Clifford, Clarence “Pete”; sisters, Florence Ekern, Irene Murray, and Kathyrn Ziebarth; one granddaughter, Tara Marie DeSplinter; and one grandson, Jamie David (Emily) Ziebarth, PharmD.

Ken believed that students should not be embarrassed due to low lunch account balances. He advocated that all students receive hot lunch each school day. In lieu of flowers you might consider donating to your local school hot lunch program.


Previous Events

Memorial Visitation




3:00 PM 7/21/2017 3:00:00 PM - 5:00 PM 7/21/2017 5:00:00 PM
Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel

710 SE 4th St.
PO Box 351
Pipestone, MN 56164

Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel
710 SE 4th St. Pipestone 56164 MN
United States

Committal Service




11:00 AM 7/22/2017 11:00:00 AM
New Calvary Catholic Cemetery - Cloquet

Cloquet, MN, US, 55720

New Calvary Catholic Cemetery - Cloquet
Cloquet, MN, US, 55720

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