|Harvey James Zeigler Jr.|
|Written by provided to Sentinel-Tribune|
|Friday, 28 December 2012 09:46|
Harvey James Zeigler passed away December 23, 2012, in Mount Dora, Florida at the age of 92.
Harvey was born December 15, 1920 to Blanche and Harvey James Zeigler Sr., in Dunbridge, Ohio. Harvey was the middle child between four sisters.
Joining the Ohio National Guard after high school, his unit was called to service in 1939. In 1941, after training in Mississippi, and meeting his future wife, Lillian, during Paratrooper school in Fort Benning Georgia, Harvey (Jim) joined the major war effort abroad. During his military tenure, Harvey was awarded the Silver Star for action near Naples, Italy. Later, he was awarded The Purple Heart and The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) Medal for his efforts to defend Allied positions near St. Mere Eglise, France during the D-Day invasion. Concerning the DSC, no higher honor, except the Medal of Honor, can be awarded for military service.
Harvey was presented the Distinguished Service Cross by Major General Matthew Ridgway and is specifically recognized for his citation by Phil Nordyke, author of the book "All American All The Way - The Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in WWII." Of the thousands of 82nd Airborne Paratroopers who fought in World War II, only 88 fellow comrades are honored as DSC recipients in the "Hall of Heroes" Medal of Honor facility located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Harvey is among them.
An elite 82nd Airborne member of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Harvey had a total of 36 paratrooper jumps and made all four of the Airborne Division combat jumps in Holland, Sicily, Salerno and Normandy. He was wounded twice. Harvey always commented that the real heroes of the war were "the boys who didn't return." When interviewed by a local newspaper in 2006, he further stated that "Paratroopers were known for their ability to get things done."
After the war, in 1945, he opened Harvey's Restaurant in Bowling Green, Ohio. His mother, Blanche, father, Harvey Sr., four sisters, wife, children and over 10 nieces and nephews worked at the restaurant at one time or another. Harvey operated the restaurant for 29 years and was known for providing homemade meals and dessert specialties. Out of town visitors often frequented the restaurant during their travel through town.
Harvey retired to Mount Dora, Florida in 1980.
Harvey is loved, and survived by, his four children and their spouses: Sheryl Zeigler of Santa Fe, New Mexico; John and Elena Pizarro-Zeigler of St. Cloud, Florida; Chris Douglas Zeigler of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and James and Sheila Dilsaver-Zeigler of Perrysburg, Ohio. Son John's fraternal twins were Harvey's only beloved grandchildren, Nathaniel Zeigler of Orlando, Florida and Jessica Zeigler-Goddard and great grand-daughter, Mallory of Fostoria, Ohio. The mother of Harvey's children, Lillian Zeigler-Hart, resides near Tampa, Florida.
Harvey is also survived by two sisters, Marilyn Carlson of Bowling Green, Ohio, and Virginia Meister of Bradenton, Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews across the country that continued to stay in touch with "Uncle Jim." His sisters, Donelda Maddox of Columbus, Ohio and Grace Swigart of Bowling Green, Ohio, preceded him in death.
A true American hero, Harvey will be fondly remembered by his family, relatives and the many friends who knew him as a caring, compassionate and loving individual. He chose to rest with his 82nd Airborne peers at the Florida (Bushnell) National Veterans Cemetery near Tampa, Florida. Funeral services will be held January 7th, 2013 at the Steverson, Hamblin-Hilbish Funeral Home in Tavares, Florida in the morning. Harvey will then be laid to rest, with full military honors, at the Florida National Veterans Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, in the afternoon.
Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 200 North Summit St., Bowling Green, Ohio.
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