David Ziegler, formerly of Yankton, died April 9, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 73.
David was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He moved to Yankton in 1967 where he resided until 1988. During his time in Yankton, he completed his college education and worked as a social worker, hospital administrator and business owner. In 1988 David and his family moved from Yankton to Las Vegas, where he found his true calling-education in general, math teaching in particular.
In the second year at his first site, passionate African-American students approached David, seeking an advisor to guide their creation of a Black History Month assembly at the school. Apparently, several years had passed since they had been able to have this event due to the unrest of the late 80’s in Las Vegas. After insisting that the students put away their “colors” and work together, he agreed. Of course, guiding them involved some touchy topics: diversity must be respected, academics came before rehearsals, and the unfortunate overall atmosphere required selling this assembly as a positive program to the administration. The assembly was a success, including local politicians, Las Vegas performers and the Vegas-popular performances by groups of Steppers. We have all been very proud of this success.
In 2000, David was promoted to administration, serving as an Athletic Administrator for 8 years. His first assignment was to chaperone a group of Student Council members on a Kayak trek to Catalina Island off the shore of California. Without too much argument, David agreed to don a wet suit and join the kids with his oar. Those of you who knew him enjoy this image, I am sure.
David is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Ellen, and son John. He also leaves behind his brothers Bill Ziegler (spouse Tina), Dan Ziegler, and his sister Mary Henseler (spouse Kevin).
There will be a Celebration of Life in Las Vegas on June 5.
Yankton Press & Dakotan
April 27, 2021