Emmanuel John Ziegler, 98, passed away peacefully on Feb. 18, 2021, at Brethren Village, Lititz. Born on the family farm near Frystown on Nov. 4, 1922, he was the son of Howard and Sallie (Heffelfinger) Ziegler. He was the husband of the late Edith H. (Crouse) Ziegler for 49 years until her death in July of 1989.
Known reverently in the family as Gramps, Emmanuel was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. He posed for a five-generation picture in 2015.
Emmanuel walked to a one-room school in Frystown for two years and by third grade, took a bus to Mt. Aetna School. He graduated from Bethel High School. When he started school, he spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, and always enjoyed telling stories about his school days.
In his later years, Emmanuel was blessed with a wonderful memory and was able to relate many stories about the people who lived in his community. He enjoyed telling people about their parents and grandparents. Usually, the year and make of the car owned by the person was a part of his memory.
Emmanuel was a life-long, active member of Little Swatara Church of the Brethren. In his early years, he was timid. He enjoyed singing bass in quartets. He later became a natural greeter. He would walk up to a visitor and say, “My name is Ziegler. What’s your name?” That greeting was often the beginning of a new friendship. He was a people person. He had friends of all ages.
Emmanuel was a farmer until 1952 and continued to live on the farm that had been purchased by his grandparents in 1900. He started his career as a truck driver hauling new automobiles for J. H. Sprecher in 1952 and later, was an owner operator and delivered new automobiles for F. J. Boutell and M. and G. Convoy for a total of 42 years.
He created many friendships with fellow car haulers, dispatchers, and car dealership owners up and down the east coast and west to Michigan and beyond.
After retirement, he held a car hauler’s reunion, which was a grand time for all who came to reminisce. Year after year, they traveled many miles to sit together for six hours to share stories and enjoy each other’s company one more time.
After retiring from hauling new automobiles, Emmanuel continued truck driving for ASK Foods, Inc. in Palmyra. He enjoyed driving a Freightliner for 10 years making deliveries of food products for ASK. After driving a truck for 52 years, Emmanuel retired from trucking in 2006.
Emmanuel remained vibrant and active, working around his farm mowing the lawn, plowing snow, and regularly visiting people. Emmanuel had a very generous heart and was always generous with his time. Emmanuel seemed to know everyone he met or he treated them like he knew them. He was always ready to launch into a conversation. In his later years, he especially enjoyed meeting someone with whom he could converse in Pennsylvania Dutch.
When unable to be out and about, Emmanuel maintained communication with friends and family via his telephone. His phone was his lifeline.
The family would like to thank all who stayed in touch with Emmanuel via cards and calls these last eleven months. Your communications with Emmanuel were greatly appreciated. Thank you!
He is survived by a son, John Emmanuel Ziegler, husband of Judie, a daughter, Linda Roena Ziegler, a granddaughter, Jodie (Ziegler) Rice, wife of Brian, a great-granddaughter, Jordan (Rice) Best, wife of Kaleb, a great-grandson, Taylor Rice, fiancé of Tiodora Zug, and two great-great-grandsons, Elliot and Henry Best.
He had several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Nahum Ziegler.
Services and interment will be private at the convenience of the family. A memorial service will be held at a later date for family and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to Little Swatara Church of the Brethren, PO Box 437, Bethel, PA 19507.