Wilmer D. Zehr
Wilmer Dale Zehr, 85, formerly of Champaign, IL passed away peacefully on November 4, 2017 at Hyland Crossings Memory Care in Sun Prairie, WI after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His devotion to his family and his firm belief in the God who loves him supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace up to the end of his life.
Wilmer was born to the late Daniel and Katie (Birky) Zehr, at home in their Central Illinois farm house on February 8, 1932. He grew up as the youngest of six siblings and spent much of his childhood being loved and pampered by his older sisters. He began his lifelong career as a professional photographer at an early age, and took many group family pictures, weddings, portraits, and commercial work through the years of which he won numerous awards.
Wilmer is also a veteran of the Korean War and served in the army in Korea from 1952-1954 as both a medic and a mess sergeant.
Wilmer was blessed with a large and loving extended family. He married his best friend and the love of his life of 66 years, Evelyn (Schertz) Zehr on April 6, 1951 at East Bend Mennonite Church outside of Fisher, Illinois. Wilmer and Evelyn together helped raise their three children, Randy, Steve & Sheri, with patience, discipline, and humility. From the very beginning, he dedicated his children to God and encouraged them to explore the beauty and truth of God’s deep love for them.
Wilmer was a people-lover at heart. He was kind and soft-spoken, and always had time to give of himself whenever he saw a need. He and his wife volunteered at many church and community organizations, assisting many who were less fortunate. As the youngest of his siblings, he is remembered with great fondness by all his nieces and nephews, many of whom were not that much younger than he. He is dearly missed by all his family and many friends who celebrate the fact that he is at peace with his Creator.
Wilmer is survived by his wife, Evelyn; his children Randy (Colleen) Zehr of Sun Prairie, WI, Steve (Susie) Zehr of Lakeville, MN and his daughter, Sheri O’Brien of Gilbert, AZ; his granddaughters Ashley Robinson, Heather Zehr, Alaina Bresette, Kate Zehr, Allison Robertstad and Emily O’Brien; and eight great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and five siblings.
We also want to thank the wonderful staff at Hyland Crossings Memory Care in Sun Prairie, WI for the overwhelming care and love expressed to both Wilmer and Evelyn while he was a resident with them; and to Agrace Hospice in Madison, WI who was truly a God-send over the last months of Wilmer’s life.
A visitation and memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive in Savoy, IL 61874 (visitation from 10 a.m. – noon followed by a memorial service and reception.
The family gratefully requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to Agrace Hospice. Please make your donation payable to “Agrace Foundation” and mail it to: Agrace, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.or go to https://www.agrace.org/donate/.
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