Obituary Details

Leonard A. Zerbst

(08/06/1948 - 05/22/2000)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/30/2000

Leonard A. Zerbst

Funeral services for Leonard A. Zerbst, 51, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at Dow Park in Newcastle with Pastor Gary Walker of Lance Creek officiating.

Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery under direction of Worden Funeral directors.

The family asks that people attending the services dress casually. The family also suggests memorial contributions to the Black Hills Museum of Natural History in Hill City, S.D., in lieu of flowers.

Mr. Zerbst died Monday, May 22 at Rapid Regional Hospital after fighting a very courageous battle with esophageal cancer for nine months.

Leonard was born August 6, 1948 in Lusk, Wyo., the son of William R. and Edna A. (Butolph) Zerbst. He was raised on the family ranch on the Cheyenne River by his sister. He attended a country school called the Seven Mile School through the eighth grade. He attended Newcastle High School graduating with the class of 1966. He joined the U.S. Army on May 2, 1965 retiring May 2, 1975. On August 23, 1969 he married Arlene Wocicki. They made their home on the family ranch. In 1970, he started a business called Zerbst Pumping Service, where he learned about drilling and producing oil wells. He was most happy when he was in his "Cat" building new locations.

One of Leonard's passions was to get on his four wheeler and go hunting for dinosaur bones. His finest hour came two years ago when he discovered a Triceratops, which turned out to be the most complete ever found. He named it after his first born grandchild "Kelsey Ann." He had discovered his second Triceratops when he was diagnosed with his illness.

Leonard loved to journey to Deadwood, S.D., to try his luck gambling. He always enjoyed seeing and meeting new friends. His biggest prize was winning $1,500, and getting a shirt from First Gold that stated "I Won Big." He loved to talk about it to all of the nurses and doctors in Rapid City.

He also looked forward to the "Bag Lady Bash" at the Flying V Cambria Inn north of Newcastle where he was the head bar b'que chef. He loved all the interaction with the bikers. Everyone who knew Leonard knew that his BBQ pigs were the best around.

Leonard now resides in heaven with his father, mother, his mentor Walter Van Norman, Randy, Gary and many numerous friends.

Those who remain to carry on his legacy are his wife Arlene, son Tom and his wife Jill; daughter Kris Stauffer and her husband Chad, all of Newcastle; brothers Glenn and wife Carolyn of Newcastle; Robert and his wife Caron of Gillette; one sister Irma Wasserburger and her husband Jim of Lusk. Nieces include Briley, Brynn, Tammy and Lisa. Nephews include Ben, Denny, Kenny, Scott, Steve; and two very special grandchildren Kelsey and Lane Zerbst whom he loved very much, also numerous aunts, uncles and friends.

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