Barbara Jean Zeigler
May 19, 1947 – January 4, 2021
A Southern Californian most of her life, Barb was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Sterling and Helen Mallon (the former Helen Reddy). She was a graduate of Michigan State University with Bachelor and Master’s degrees in education and math, with which she taught junior high science and second grade for seven years.
On December 23, 1972, Barb married Charles Zeigler, Jr. (Chuck) in Farmington Hills, Michigan. With the birth of their son, Charles III (Chuckie), Barb left her teaching career to be a fulltime mother and homemaker. In 1981, a couple of years after the birth of their daughter, Heidi, Chuck’s company transferred him to California where the family initially settled in Irvine.
A next-door neighbor in Irvine, who was familiar with the Hollywood scene, suggested that Barb get Heidi and Chuckie involved in acting. Barb soon-after became a full time “set mom” as she balanced otherhood and family life with what became her second career. For over ten years, she managed and facilitated her kids’ work on commercials, television series, and movies.
Barb was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in Michigan before moving to California, a painful and progressive disease which challenged her tremendously but could not and did not stop her from living her life to the fullest. She has needed a wheelchair for mobility since the mid 1990’s, but even so, her determination and strong-will carried her through twenty-five more years of living, working, mothering, serving, and enjoying a close and loving relationship with her beloved husband.
In her later years, Barb spent her time in service to others as a volunteer at the Orange County Children’s Hospital, Discovery Science Center, Westpark Elementary School, Irvine Senior Center, and Stonecreek Elementary School. After 10 years of service, she received special recognition from the Children’s Hospital earning the Golden Paw Award. The Irvine Public Schools Foundation also honored her with the Spirit of Community Award.
In recent years, she could be seen driving all over town in her power wheelchair, which provided her with great independence. Also, here in Orange County, there is a bus system for the handicapped which enabled Barb to shop all over town and embark on her third career of volunteering in the community.
In 2001, after becoming involved in a community of many great and loving people, Barb and Chuck joined their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Her new found friends and faith provided comfort when Chuckie was sent to Iraq as a combat Marine for two tours. With the help of loving prayers, Barb’s adored son came home. Ladies from the Church dutifully helped get Barb up for the day so she could catch the bus for volunteering, and they also came to the rescue on many occasions when Chuck was at work. Barb was fulfilled by her simple, humble life with her husband at home and family nearby. Despite the ravages of MS and due to her determination, strong will, and positive outlook, Barb truly enjoyed life, deeply loved her husband, and took great pride in her children and grandchildren.
Barb is survived by her devoted husband of 48 years, Chuck Zeigler, Jr., her brother, Robert Mallon, and her two children, Charles Zeigler III and Heidi Twitchell (Trevor). She leaves behind five grandchildren, who were her pride and joy; Ayden, Kirsten, Maddox, and Sawyer Twitchell, and Audrey Zeigler.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021