2017-08-31 / Obituaries

Gilbert Ziegler


Gilbert Ziegler Gilbert Ziegler Gilbert Ziegler, 79, of Charlevoix, passed away Saturday, July 29, 2017, in Canton, Georgia, surrounded by his family.

He was born November 24, 1937, to Irving and Alice (nee Kriser) Ziegler. He grew up in St. Ignace.

Mr. Ziegler attended Northern Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. His dedication and commitment to Northern Michigan University lasted his lifetime and his involvement was plentiful. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award of Northern Michigan University in 1983. He would later be appointed by two governors to serve on its board of trustees. He was a member of the President’s Club, the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association, the Board of Trustees of the Development Fund, and the Golden Wildcat Club. In addition to his activities at Northern Michigan University, he served on the board of trustees for Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. After completing his education at Northern Michigan University, he started his career in manufacturing at Milan Screw Products in Milan, where he served as general manager. This was followed by executive positions at US Components in Bloomfield Hills, Al-Ken Manufacturing in Hudson, and Horton Company in Jackson. He was an early adopter and innovator in the manufacturing fields of cold forming, machining, and tool and die manufacturing. Mr. Ziegler’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to found Alken Ziegler, Inc. in Kalkaska, which later expanded to include facilities in Livonia, Novi, Romulus, and Taylor, as well as Jasper, Georgia. At its peak, Alken Ziegler employed more than 500 people.

He was active in his community and was involved in multiple organizations, including the Elks and Kiwanis service clubs. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Lenawee County American Red Cross and Lenawee County Planning Commission. He also was elected and served as Antrim County Commissioner. He established the Baby Grand Scholarship at Northern Michigan University in honor of his grandchildren, which benefits college-age students of single parents enrolled in undergraduate courses at the university.

Mr. Ziegler had a passion for aviation. He was a pilot, and he owned Harbour Air, the fixed based operation at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City. He loved spending time with his family, along with being outdoors, fishing, hunting, and boating. He enjoyed watching football games with his daughters.

He is survived by his twin daughters and their families, Wendy and Kenneth Bridle and Kelly Ziegler, and eight grandchildren, Matthew, Hunter, Conner, Emily, Collin, Reese, Brennan, and Drew. He is also survived by his close friends, Susie and Woody Woodworth and Nicholas Baise.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Northern Michigan University or the American Heart Association.

A celebration of Mr. Ziegler’s life will be held Saturday, September 9, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Shanty Creek Resorts at 5780 Shanty Creek Road in Bellaire.

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