The Runge Mortuary & Crematory

838 East Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA


Robert "Bob" Dean Zesiger

14 December, 192323 November, 2019

Robert (Bob) D. Zesiger, 95, of Davenport, IA passed away Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Ridgecrest Village. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:30 PM on Friday, November 29th, at Runge Mortuary, in Davenport. Funeral services will be held at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in East Moline, on Saturday, November 30 at 10:30 AM. He will be laid to rest in Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline, IL. Memorials may be made to Living Lands and Waters. Online condolences may be expressed at www.rungemortuary.com.

Robert was born on December 14, 1923 to Elmer and Anna (Christenson) Zesiger in Davenport, IA. While in high school, Bob enjoyed building model airplanes and even built a plywood boat. That must have led to his love of sailing and his pursuit in furthering his education. After high school Bob served our country for 2 ½ years in WW II, the last 9 months in Luzon, Philippines. He earned a B.A. from University of Iowa in 1950 and went on to work for Scott Co. Engineers over three years, prior to being called to return to the Army to serve during the Korean conflict for 10 months. He then earned his M.S. degree in Industrial Education at Bradley University in 1953.

He was united in marriage to Barbara Joyce Strandgard in Miami, FL in 1953 and they enjoyed nearly 45 years of marriage before her passing. In his later years he delighted in reminding his children that she was a great family person and that they had a great family. He went on to marry Margaret Kramer in 2005.

His teaching career in Industrial Education began in 1954 in Washington, IL and retired from United Township High School in 1988. Between 1959-1990, he built 7 homes (sometimes with his father’s help) and remodeled 35 homes. In “retirement”, he was a landlord and served his community as a Silvis Alderman from 1997-2009.

Bob was faithful to his family, church and country. In his words, “We are all very fortunate to be citizens of the United States of America. Good, honest, courageous, selfless people are responsible for our country’s existence. Let’s all do what we can to preserve and strengthen it for future generations and create a model for the rest of the world.”

He is survived by his children, Deborah (Rustin) Jackson, Denise (Cissy) Zesiger, Diane (Mark) Wadsworth, and Robert Zesiger II, grandchildren; Amber Kauzlarich, Amanda Ludin, and Alexandria Logas, and 6 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wives Barbara and Margaret, a granddaughter Andrea Hastings, his brother Milton, and his sister Jeanne Meyer.


  • Elmer A. Zesiger, Father (deceased)
  • Anna (Christenson) Zesiger, Mother (deceased)
  • Barbara Joyce (Strangard) Zesiger, Wife (deceased)
  • Margaret (Kramer) Zesiger, Wife (deceased)
  • Deborah Jackson (Rustin), Daughter
  • Denise Zesiger (Cissy), Daughter
  • Diane Wadsworth (Mark), Daughter
  • Robert Zesiger II, Son
  • Amber Kauzlarich, Grandchild
  • Amanda Ludin, Grandchild
  • Alexandria Logas, Grandchild
  • Andrea Hastings, Grandchild (deceased)
  • Milton Zesiger, Brother (deceased)
  • Jeanne Meyer, Sister (deceased)
  • Also left to cherish his memomory are 6 great-grandchildren.

  • Robert Zesiger II, Pallbearer
  • Rustin Jackson, Pallbearer
  • Mark Wadsworth, Pallbearer
  • Josh Ludin, Pallbearer
  • Joe Kauzlarich, Pallbearer
  • Bob Meyer, Pallbearer

  • Living Lands and Waters



  • Visitation Friday, 29 November , 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, 30 November , 2019


  • Funeral Services


Robert "Bob" Dean Zesiger

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mark Ridolfi

4 December 2019

Fond memories and much respect for an engaged community leader who sent me many letters to the editor at the Quad-City Times. Bob shared his thoughts easily and respectfully, cultivating community thoughts and actions by others.

Jim and Sue Lemmon

3 December 2019

I taught with Bob at UTHS for many years. He was a good Christian man and well thought of by his peers and students. I always enjoyed talking with Bob and we especially enjoyed the friendship of his daughter Diane and husband Mark Wadsworth. They have been our neighbors in Coal Valley and friends at church. We express our sincere sympathy at Bob’s passing. Jim and sue lemmon

Deb Wright-Sawyer

1 December 2019

I have so many wonderful memories of growing up with you guys. Playing in the fallout shelter, riding bikes, staying over, camping. Cleaning the house in the middle of the night. Bob was always so easy going. I’ll always remember a big booming voice and his smile.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I miss my dad every single day. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Margaret Cone

29 November 2019

I was very young when we moved to California so I did not get to know “Uncle Bob” as well as I would have liked. His brother, my dad did talk about him and shared photos of him which helped me to know who he was. I knew he was a teacher, loved sailing, served in the military but never knew details. I did meet him in my older years as my parents would make trips back to Iowa most Spring Breaks, stay for a week at Grandma & Grandpa Zesiger’s house and I remember going to Bobs house a few times. My husband, David got to meet him and his family when we went back to Iowa to celebrate my folks 50th wedding anniversary. I remember his excitement when he went for a walk and came back with some “ginger root”. I didn’t even know what ginger root was then. I also inherited a small cannon that he made. Though I didn’t have a close relationship with him I loved and admired him and had great respect for him. We always laugh though when at his home in Illinois and talking with his wife Barb about Bob and my dad and she replied “Oh, you mean “Push & Shove?”. So I guess he like my father had a very strong & firm personality. I never saw that side but evidently his wife did.
Our sympathy to his children and grandchildren at the loss of their father/grandfather. We will all miss him but always remember what a wonderful person he was and how blessed he was to live such a long & productive life.
Sincerely, His Niece, Margaret (Zesiger) Cone

This photo was taken in Torrance California when Our Aunt and Uncles came to visit. On the left is Bob’s sister Jean (Zesiger) Meyers & her husband Chris & their son Bobby. Next to Chris (back row) is Bob Zesiger. Next to him is his brother (my dad) Milton Zesiger. I am on the left, holding Smokey, a puppy my mom won from SavOn Drug Store, our mother Dorothy (Moss) Zesiger and my sister Deanna (Zesiger) Collins on the right. Our brother was born in 1951 and is not in the photo so this photo was taken sometime before his birth.

Paul Smith

27 November 2019

Mr. Zesiger was my “shop teacher” at UT around 1971, it was the first time I worked with machines, he left me with a passion for machines and I am still working with machines to this day. I taught machine shop at UT for a short while. I credit Mr. Zesiger with teaching me how to read a micrometer, I just was not getting the hang of it and he took he me aside and very patiently walk me thru the steps until I was able to grasp reading a micrometer. I still have the projects I made in his class. I also remember when he came with a new hair cut minus the Brylcreem and told us all that he was getting with the times. A few years ago I had a white Chevy station wagon for sale and he asked if I could bring to his house by the ballparks so he could look at it, once their I realized it was Mr. Zesiger and I was able to tell him thanks for guiding me into machining, he also bought the car. My prayers are with the family, his was a life well lived. Paul Smtih

Tom Green

26 November 2019

I don't know Brother Z all that well, but I will definitely miss shaking his hand every Sunday at church. I was amazed at how fit he was in his old age and how he treated his wife and took care of her in her old age. Rest in peace, Br. Z!

Alfred Strandgard

26 November 2019

Bob Zesiger was a part of the Strandgard family, before and after his marriage to my sister, Barbara. He brought to our family a generous amount of intelligence, compassion and humor. My best memories are of his laughter, his sailboat, his finesse in playing ping-pong, creativeness in playing card games and his intelligence with anything to do with building. His character was amazing. He was dedicated to a philosophy of fairness, commitment, and well-being providing a pathway for others to follow. While never in his classroom as a teacher, I can hear Bob filling students with new ideas and encouragement, as a cornerstone for their growth. Rest in peace, Bob. You are greatly missed by the Strandgard family and by your precious son and daughters.