Farming Rural 07

Leland Carl Zerbe

April 12, 1930 ~ December 9, 2020 (age 90)



Leland Carl Zerbe, age 90, passed Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at Diversicare of Council Grove. He was born April 12, 1930, on a farm south of Alta Vista, Kansas to Gus H. Zerbe and Virgina E. McLaughlin. On February 28, 1953 he married Shirley J. Gehrke. From this union was born two sons, Steven and Mark. He married Mary Vliet on September 9, 1977. He was presently married to Shirley Barber. Surviving family members include: sons, Steven (Claire) Zerbe of Council Grove and Mark (Lori) Zerbe of Sedgwick; Grand children: Jamie (Loren) Cunningham of Lenexa, Lisa Zerbe of Ozawkie, Ryan Zerbe of Maize, and Alex (Allison) Zerbe of Ozawkie; five great grandchildren; and sister-in law Carolyn Zerbe of Eskridge. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Curtis Zerbe. Leland graduated from Alta Vista High School in 1948 and joined the United Stated Navy and was stationed in San Diego, CA. He returned back to the Alta Vista area and went to work for Beech Aircraft at Delavan, KS. He later helped construct and manage Western Grain Mill in Council Grove, managed Council Grove Livestock Auction and was Morris County Weed Director until retirement. Leland enjoyed sports in high school and was active in CG Jaycees and played many a baseball game with them. He was active in the community with Rotary Club, was an officer and a board of director on Flint Hills RECA and President of the board of Flint Hills Development, helping to bring the first satellite TV dishes to the area. He assisted with the Santa Fe Trail riders and over the years rode the trail by horseback across Kansas and into New Mexico. One of Leland's favorite things was riding a good horse, several of which he trained, and every year help gather cattle for the Rotary Cutting Horse contest. During one contest, he won a watch for best cutter in the local cowboy division, of which he was quite proud. He helped many a rancher gather cattle off Flint Hill pastures, one year commenting he had helped gather and load enough cattle to fill over ninety semi-trucks in that summer alone. Having a farm shop was another joy, where over the years he built or reconstructed many pieces of farm equipment, often welding a broken machinery part for a neighbor. Later during retirement he would build cowboys, bucking bulls and many other items out of horse shoes. Leland was a member of the Lutheran Church. Graveside services will be for family members only at Templin Cemetery with a memorial service later next year. Memorial contributions may be made to Morris County 4-H Foundation and sent in care of Sawyer Funeral Home, PO Box 273, Council Grove, KS 66846. Condolences may be left at

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