Fern Zinser, age 100, died at Oakwood Care Center, Clear Lake, on Aug. 3, 2013. She is with her Heavenly Father and all family members that have preceded her in death. Celebration of her life will be 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 at the Evangelical Free Church, Clear Lake, Iowa with Pastor Randy Vaage and
Pastor Rod Carlson officiating. Interment will be in the Memorial Park Cemetery, Mason City, following the services. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, and then one hour before the service at the church. Memorials are suggested to Oakwood Care Center, Evangelical Free Church of Clear Lake, or Hospice of North Iowa in lieu of flowers.
Fern Valeria Wilkinson was born Jan. 20, 1913 to Edwin R. and Minnie E. (Mix) Wilkinson on the family farm in Alpha, Jackson County, Minn. She was raised in that area going to school through the eighth grade then working and helping to provide for her family during the depression. She later took a GED course through NIACC and received her certificate in 1987. Fern helped move her parents to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and worked at different jobs. She worked at the hospital and was trained as a practical nurse. Fern met Jean E. Snow and was married to him in 1935. To that union, four sons were born. In 1946, the family moved to a home on East Main Street, Clear Lake. Jean passed in Sept. of 1966. Fern worked at the Radio factory west of Mason City then later became employed by Jacob E. Decker plant, later named Armour. She retired from there due to health issues in 1975. That fall she met Emory R. Zinser. They were married in 1976. He passed in 1999. She and Emory spent their married life traveling in a motor home seeing many areas of the country including two trips to Alaska, doing genealogy work, and making quilts. Their home base was in Weslaco, Texas. They returned to North Iowa in 1996 due to health issues. Fern and Emory were privileged to be able to travel in Europe and the Holy Lands. Family meant a lot to her and she spent time seeing many relatives during their travel days and searching for long lost family members as well as ancestors. She has been living at the Oakwood Care Center the past six years. She had her sewing machine with her and continued to make quilt blocks, small flannel baby quilts, and did mending for anyone who asked her while there. Her last sewing project was just two weeks ago.
Surviving Fern are two sons, Larry and Harlan (Gayle) Snow, both of Clear Lake; daughter-in-law, Judy Snow, North Pole, Alaska; step children, Joyce Eakman, Patricia Connoughton, and Richard Zinser. Grandchildren surviving her are Michelle (Russell) Alexander and Bruce (Juliana) Snow; Jacquelin (Jeff) Cayton, Debra Coe and Jocko Clifford, Lanyon Snow, Suzanne (Donnie) Helgeson, and Traci (Dan) Burgess, Angella Gilyard, Kevin (Cathy) Snow, Kemberly (David) Drotzmann, Daryl Snow, and Tammy (Chuck) Jacky, Tonja (Kevin) Swanson, Steve (Cindi) Snow and Jeanette Harthan. Also surviving are step grandchildren Joyce, Shirley, Deborah, Daniel Kemper, Phillip Minton, Lynn Ann Fowlkes, Melinda Minton, Larry Eakman, Kenneth Eakman, Janice Clark, Cynthia Owen, Brian Connoughton, Richard Zinser and James Phelps; many nieces and nephews, as well as great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, Jean Snow and Emory Zinser; sons, Bruce and wife, Muriel, and David Snow; brothers, Burton, Homer, and Darrel and wife, Gloria, Wilkinson; sister, Ardith and husband, Paul, McLaughlin; step daughters, Ramona and husband, Paul, Mouser; Shirley and husband, Ralph, Kemper, and Judith and husband, Chris, D‘Agostino; step sons-in-law, James Eakman and Thomas Connaughton; step grandson, Donald Kemper; great-granddaughters, Mandy and Melissa King; great-grandson, Christopher Ryan Snow; and step great-grandson, Joshua Kemper.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.