Paul “Zig” Zhiss

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Paul “Zig” Zhiss peacefully passed away Nov. 5, 2020, at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. With the Holy Spirit, Paul became a child of God through his baptism, Dec. 18, 2004, joining his Christian family at Trinity Lutheran Church, Guttenberg.

Due to COVID-19 concerns there will be private family services.

Arrangements were handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Guttenberg.

Paul was born May 8, 1927, in South Bend, Ind., to Joe and Esther Zhiss. After graduating from Riley High in South Bend, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in WWII in the Southern Pacific. Upon returning from service, he attended and played football for Upper Iowa University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. It was there that he met the love of his life, June Albert. They married, May 9, 1953, and together they taught school at Hazelton, Coggon, Treynor, and North Mahaska before settling in Guttenberg in 1965. 

Zig was a well-respected and beloved U.S. Government and U.S. History teacher, as well as a football, basketball, track, and golf coach. He tried to make the mundane interesting by bringing humor into the classroom. He also showed great empathy toward students who may have made some bad life choices, as Paul had his own experiences in this area when he was a young man. He credits a wise juvenile court judge who gave him a last chance to turn around his life, and he never forgot it. Paul retired from teaching in 1987, thus ending a 34-year career in public school education.

  Paul was best known for his love of golf, Indiana basketball, Notre Dame Football, the Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago Bears. He was also known for his quick sense of humor. He golfed before golf became cool. He shot two holes-in-one in his lifetime, walked and carried his bag until well into his 80s and “shot his age” every year beginning at age 73 (and he has the score cards to prove it). He golfed up until a week before he fell ill.

Paul is survived by his wife, June; daughters, Michele (Craig) Van Scoyoc, Andrea (Dan) Weber; son, Scott (Tricia) Zhiss; grandchildren, Jacob (Amy) Van Scoyoc, Matthew (Kristen) Van Scoyoc, Joe (Libby) Zhiss, Anne (Brian) West, Emily (Jordan) Otdoerfer, Olivia Weber, and Brandon Weber; great-grandchildren, Brady and Harper Van Scoyoc, Will Van Scoyoc, and Elouise Otdoerfer; nephew, Ron (Carolyn) Zhiss; niece, Terri (Loren) Begun, and cousin, Marvin Martin; special friends include, Duane and Maureen Wilde, Jerry Kolker, Bob and Jo Creery, Dick and Phyllis Owings, Dick and Sandy Destival, Jane Reinitz Moser, Jim Ertl, the Bill and Sue Leonhart family, the Randy and Becky Bockenstedt family, and Jason and Jean McGrane and family, as well as countless others whose life he touched both on and off the golf course.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jack (Carol) Zhiss and Donald (Virginia) Zhiss.

Zig wrote many notes to document and improve his golf game and often wrote about the life lessons he learned along the way. He wrote, “These are goals of life that I have tried to attain: honesty, trust in God, citizenship, fairness, and respect for others…I will leave this world knowing my family will live with many of the same values.”

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