Music 01

John "JZ" Zeller

April 27, 1949 ~ September 14, 2022 (age 73) 73 Years Old
Obituary Image


John D. Zeller, 73, Jamestown, ND, passed away on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at the Sanford Intensive Care Unit, Fargo ND. 

John D. Zeller was born in Bismarck, ND on April 27, 1949 to Reuben H. and Lilian Margaret Zeller. John grew up in Carson ND. He graduated from Carson High School in 1967. After graduation he attended two years at Dickinson State College majoring in music.  John was drafted into the Army in 1970 serving in Virginia and Alaska in the 214th United States Army Band. Following his service, John obtained his associates degree in liberal arts from Bismarck Junior College.

He met Barbara Reinke and they were married August 13, 1976.  Together they had one daughter, Alanna Zeller.  They were divorced in 1996.

John lived and worked in Bismarck as an upholstery apprentice for Jensen’s Upholstery. In 1976 he moved back to Carson where he owned and operated his own upholstery business, Zeller’s Upholstery.  In 1977 he worked part time for Grant County ACSC as a fieldsman.  John closed his business in 1982 and started working for Rain and Hail Insurance as a crop adjuster.  John maintained dual residence, in Carson and Jamestown ND to accommodate his work.  John lived primarily in Jamestown from 2008 until his death. 

John was a lover of music.  He was a talented musician, playing the clarinet in school as well as for the U.S. Army.  He was a collector as well, amassing over 2000 vinyl record albums over his lifetime.  When vinyl went out of style, he moved into cassette and compact discs.  He enjoyed attending concerts with his daughter, nephew Steven, and good friends.  He always had music playing wherever he was. 

John an active member of his community in Carson.  He was a member of the American Legion for 50 years, during which time he served as post commander from 1980 through 1995.  John was active in the Lions International Club.  He was a member of the ND Parks and Recreation Association and the Carson Park Board. He was also a member of the volunteer fire department during his full-time residence in Carson.   

Every year John made it to Carson for the Grant County State World Fair.  He participated in honor guard ceremonies and marching in the parade for many years.  He was a fierce friend, and you could always count on John for a great story and his trademark witty, dry sense of humor. 

Growing up John spent much time with grandpa, Ted Zeller and Ted’s wife, Alma, fishing, hunting, and camping; passion he shared with family and friends through his adult life. 

In August, 2022, John was diagnosed with lung cancer.  In September he was admitted to Sanford hospital and passed away due to medical complications related to his illness.

John is survived by his daughter: Alanna Zeller (Brady Laub) of West Fargo. Three winey sisters; twins Kathleen Ripplinger (Pete) of Billings, MT and Christine Zeller of Mandan, and Julie McCabe (Randy) of Bismarck; five nieces and nephews: Melissa Ripplinger, Dawn Ripplinger, Steven Zeller, Jamie McCabe and Jason McCabe; and one grand-nephew:  Kiernan Ripplinger, two cousins in London, England, Sally Garrett and Robert Villars, one cousin in Virginia, Joyce Hooks, and his many friends.

John was preceded in death by his parents, his grandpa and Alma, his aunts and uncles from England and Virginia and one cousin Janice.

Cards may be mailed to Alanna Zeller, 3329 4th St E #2, West Fargo, ND 58078.

Condolences may be sent to the family at




Service:   Friday, September 23, 2022, 10:00 AM (MDT) at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Carson, ND, with visitation one hour before the service.

Interment:  Friday, September 23, 2022, 3:00 PM, North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, North Dakota.

West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John "JZ" Zeller, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know John "JZ" Zeller?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor John "JZ"'s memory.


September 23, 2022

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
St John's Lutheran Church
506 Grant St.
Carson, ND 58529

Memorial Service
September 23, 2022

10:00 AM
St John's Lutheran Church
506 Grant St.
Carson, ND 58529

September 23, 2022

3:00 PM
ND Veterans Cemetery
1825 46th St.
Mandan, ND 58554


© 2023 West Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility