Robert D. "Bob" Zager, of Brighton, Iowa, passed away Friday, May 10, 2019 in Minnesota at the home of his daughter, Laurie.
Celebration of life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home with Chaplain Andrew Zuehlke officiating. Calling hours will begin noon Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home, where the family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Friday evening. Interment will be held at Sandy Hook Cemetery in Brighton, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for Hospice of Washington County and the Washington Fire Department. Online condolences may be sent for Bob's family through the web at www.jonesfh.com.
Bob was born January 2, 1939 in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Delbert Dale and Mary (Hall) Zager. He graduated from Washington High School in 1957 and went on to receive his Mechanical Drafting Certificate. Bob was united in marriage Julie Jones on September 12, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. Through this union came two children, Dale and Mary, and one granddaughter, Rachael. They later divorced. Bob married Jo Ann Snyder on February 17, 1978 in Washington, Iowa.
While in high school Bob excelled in track and acquired the nickname "Zip" for his speed. He held the high jump record at 6'1 ½" for decades.
In 1959 Bob joined the family business, Zager Plumbing and Heating. He became the owner in 1979 and owned it for 34 years. Bob was a commercial pilot and owned ZIP Flying, a charter plane service. He was also the Washington Airport Fixed Base Operator for many years and served on the Airport Commission.
Bob was a volunteer firefighter for 42 years, serving as a substitute truck driver for 10 years and Fire Chief for 17 years. He and Yale Jarvis organized and began the Washington County Rescue Unit and he was the Chief and Treasurer of the unit for decades. Through this work, he became an experienced scuba diver. Bob and his wife loved to golf and were longtime members of the Washington Golf and Country Club.
Bob was a trained weather spotter and loved going out in the country to spot and track dangerous storms. His service was always in the interest of the citizens in the area, as their safety was his main concern and he dedicated his life to that. Bob was a man of bravery and was respected by all who served with him, an everyday hero who did it for the good and safety of us all.
He is survived by his five children: Dale Zager and wife Dustie of Pompano Beach, FL; Mary Downing and husband Dave of Davenport, IA; Bill Hartsock and wife Nancy of Washington, IA; Laurie Ann Moore of Oak Grove, MN; and Beth Laws of Brighton, IA; five grandchildren: Blane Hurlocker, Lexianne Moore, Ellee Laws, Rachael Downing and Jacob Laws; and one brother, William Zager and wife Kathy of Dyer, IN.
He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Jo Ann, in 2018.