Louis Otto Zuefle
August 14, 1924 – July 23, 2020
Louis Zuefle, 95, passed away peacefully on July 23, 2020, in his home in Boulder, CO with his wife of almost 74 years, Alice Zuefle (née Petrikovitsch), sitting by his side and holding his hand. Lou was born at home on August 14, 1924, to Otto and Clara Zuefle in Webster Groves, Missouri. He graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1942. During high school he was a golf caddy at the local country club and was the drummer in a band, which played the Big Band hits of the day.
He joined the Army Air Corps (subsequently the US Air Force) to serve in World War II, where he served as a B-26 bombardier/navigator and flew many combat missions during the war. He almost always wore a B-26 Marauder cap and had many, many stories that he liked to tell! Upon his return from the war, he remained a member of the US Air Force Reserves and he retired as a Major (USAF Ret).
Lou attended Washington University under the GI Bill and graduated with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Math and Science Education. Lou and Alice were married in November, 1946, and then they were both teachers in the St. Louis area. In the mid 1950s, he embarked on 37+ year career with IBM in Marketing, Education and Consulting. He retired from IBM after moving to Boulder, but remained active as a volunteer in the IBM Quarter Century Club.
Lou liked to golf, play the drums, 4-wheel to favorite scenic spots in Utah and Colorado in his "Puma" Pathfinder, snow ski at various Colorado ski areas, and walk his beloved dogs (Buffy, Benji, Max and Molly). He and Alice enjoyed travelling around the US in their RV visiting National Parks and forests, family and friends, eventually visiting all 50 states and several provinces in Canada. They also enjoyed international travel, visiting friends and family in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters Margaret and Mildred. Lou is survived by Alice and their two daughters, Debbie (Gary) Corner of Boulder, CO and Tess (Mike) Ratliff of Glendale, AZ. Lou was a fun grandpa to his four grandkids: Christy (Justin) Diehl, Melissa (Jason) Brault, Tim (fiancé Courtney) Ratliff and Katie (Matt) Holden. Lou was slyly mischievous and was known to tell them “this is something your folks don’t need to know about” as they drove around parking lots sitting in his lap, walked to the lake to feed the ducks or got into other mischief in their RV or on trips to the mountains. He also left behind 5 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Lou’s ashes will be interred at the Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver, CO. No services are planned at this time. Memorial Contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org) or to your favorite Animal Rescue charity.
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Louis Otto Zuefle
August 5, 2020
I had the distinct pleasure of working with Lou at the IBM office in Columbia, MO in the late 1970s. I started my IBM System Engineering career when I transferred to Columbia in 1976 and was assigned to the University sales team. His knowledge about the computing business was truly outstanding and I treasure calling him a friend.
He could really reach back and tell some IBM stories. One of them was his experience in New York City as head of the team of IBMers setting up the IBM display at a big industry show. At the end he emphasized to the team that IBM always made a professional appearance for such an event. Of course, men were expected to wear the dark business suits with while shirts. Women were expected to dress for business as well with a dress. As he emphasized to them, “You will wear a business dress. If you don’t have one, you will go out and buy one.” It paid off as IBM presented a professional business appearance among the pink shirt and casual crowd.
I remember when he moved to Boulder in the 1980s. As I recall he moved to be near his children, at least one of whom worked for IBM there. I had no further contact with him until about 2002 when I was pursuing my new genealogy hobby. I happened to make acquaintances with a new distant relative, Richard Johnson who lived in Boulder. I talked to him on the phone and by email on several occasions. At some point, Richard asked me if I had worked for IBM. It turned out Richard did too. It was a stretch but during our conversation on IBM I asked him if he knew Lou Zoufle since it is an unusual name in a big city. Turns out he knew him well and said Lou lived down the street.
I am a Vietnam veteran and I wish I had known he was a veteran too, we could have swapped war stories I’m sure. So long Lou, you will be missed!