Obituary: Leo Walter Zipperer

Feb. 18, 1941 – Feb. 4, 2019 (Age 77)

“Welcome to beautiful Door County in wonderful Wisconsin!” Those were the words that greeted friends and family and were added to the many county and town board resolutions that Leo thrived on creating for the future and “betterment” of the place he called home: Door County, Wisconsin.

Leo Walter Zipperer of the Town of Sevastopol, Wisconsin, and also of Palmetto, Florida, died at his home in Florida with his family at his side.

Zip was born in Whitelaw, Wisconsin, the son of Walter Anton Zipperer and Mary (Reiderer) Zipperer. Leo graduated from Lincoln High School in Manitowoc in 1959. He went on to join the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department before entering the State Patrol Academy.

Leo served as a state-patrol officer with the Wisconsin State Patrol for more than 33 years and retired in 1993.

On August 19, 1975, he married Margi Overbeck Stafford. They shared more than 43 years of happiness together.

In his retirement, Leo continued serving his community as a member of the Door County Board of Supervisors for 28 years (first elected in 1974), with three terms as chair, and he oversaw such projects as the construction of the Justice Center and the remodeling of Government Center. As a resident of the Town of Sevastopol, he served on the Town Board as chair for more than 20 years and oversaw the Town Park and Town Hall projects.

Leo also served as president of the Bayside Cemetery Association for many years, and during that time, he helped plan the construction of the columbariums and the remodeling of the chapel. The running joke at Bayside was, “The only way a person could ‘retire’ from the presidency was to live there full time.”

In all of these offices, Leo was described as someone who always informed himself about the issues, listened to others and was a good friend. Zip operated with a kind heart, was fully engaged and was the consummate professional in all the endeavors that he undertook.

He had a passion for lawn maintenance and home improvement and even raked during his “free time.” He actually “invented” a rake to simplify the job. Leo was a hard worker, but he also knew how to have a good time. His family remembers him for being calm and level-headed. And yes, always loaded with advice.

Leo will be missed by his wife, Margi; children, Kathy (Steve) Zipperer of Deforest, Wisconsin, Shannon (Yuzhen) Stafford of Indianola, Iowa, Steffanie (Chris Olson) Stafford of Sturgeon Bay, and Gregory (Britt) of Door County; grandchildren, Sophia Stafford, Quinn Stafford, and Tony Hu; sister, Margaret Mueller of Rice Lake, Wisconsin; siblings-in-law, Barbra Zipperer and Gretchen Zipperer, Bill (June) Overbeck, Chuck (Kathy) Overbeck, Little Bit LeClair, Jennifer (Steve) Baudhuin, and Karin Overbeck; stepmother-in-law, Betty Overbeck; and many wonderful, “fantastical” and talented nieces and nephews; other amazing relatives; and friends. And the Slammer!

He was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather, Edward Remiker; brothers, Donald, Gerald, and Allen Zipperer; stepbrother, Norbert Remiker; brothers-in-law, Loyal Mueller, Philip Overbeck, and Michael Overbeck; and parents-in-law, Thea Jay “Tiz” Peterson and Fred J. Peterson and Henry W. Overbeck.

Leo’s final meet-and-greet will be as follows: Friday, Feb. 15, 4-8 pm, at Huehns Funeral Home, 1414 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay; and Saturday, Feb. 16, 9:30-10:45 am. His funeral service will be held at 11 am, with Rev. Mark Richards officiating. Leo will be laid to rest in Bayside Cemetery.

If you wish to make a memorial, please consider Bayside Cemetery or the Sevastopol Town Hall and Park.

Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff members of Tidewell Hospice for the care given to Leo; and especially to his nephew, Aaron LeClair, daughter, Steffanie Stafford, and the family and staff at Huehns Funeral Home for their care this past week and helping to bring Leo home.

Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos of Leo can be shared with his family through his tribute page at

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