Roger Zach

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 was born to Wesley and Emma (Zobeck) Zach on Feb. 3, 1938, in Cedar Rapids and walked off the stage for the final time on Aug. 2, 2021. He signed off on his well-lived life with a smile on his face and laughter in his belly. The doctors and nurses didn’t know that they were in for the final show that included lots of entertainment, comedy, and one-liners until his departure. Roger was proud to say he got to live a good life doing what he loved. 

Roger was a lifelong barber being taught by his father and started cutting hair in his neighborhood at the age of 8. He joined the Navy and sailed the seas on the USS Shangri La, receiving letters of recommendations from the Admiral. After the Navy, Roger continued his education and training in barbering, leading to multiple trophies and titles with his greatest achievement as the United States Hairstyling Champion. One of his favorite stories to share was when his friend told him he would never be able to compete. He returned to Guttenberg running down the street with a 5-foot trophy yelling, “I did it, I did it!”. 

Roger’s lifelong friend and business partner, Bernard Peterson, persuaded him to do more than barbering to better provide for the family. He expanded his businesses to include hair styling, hair pieces and wholesale. Roger traveled the country working for Eva Gabor International putting on shows and seemed to establish himself as the main attraction for teaching, handling, fitting, and selling hair products. He also taught at barber colleges and other events to help others learn the trade and offered services out to nursing, funeral, and personal homes to ensure his clients/friends were happy. He also had a special place in his heart for children, providing first haircuts for generations and offering special customized services when needed, crafting specialized products to put smiles on faces and help them feel confident in their appearance. 

The Mississippi River is what attracted Roger to Guttenberg. His favorite river activities over his lifetime were commercial fishing, boating and entertaining friends and family. His paddle wheel was his pride and joy and he thoroughly enjoyed playing the calliope music on full volume causing people to come to the riverbank to see who was having all the fun. Roger enjoyed hosting fishing and camping trips, creating lasting memories with friends and family. 

Roger is survived by his children Kelley (Greg) Glawe of Garnavillo, and Chris (Kathleen) Zach of South Elgin, Ill. He was one of the best grandpas to Nicole (Nate) Thurm, Mitchell (Brooke) Glawe, Emily Glawe, Kaitlin (Weston) Harrington, Patrick Reid, and Ian Zach, keeping these kids on their toes because they would never know what he would say to them or their friends. Roger cherished his great-grandkids, Bennett, Allyson, Fox, Maddyson, Caden, Lillyan, Forrest, Aubree and Jaxon (new addition – Aug 2, 2021). Hopefully, they will inherit their great-grandpa’s quick wit and zest for life and not his penchant for pranks and shenanigans. Left with decades of fond and colorful memories are his sister, Adeline Neff of Cedar Rapids, and niece, Diane Neff. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Robert (Bob) Neff and lifelong friend, Bernard Peterson.

The family is forever in debt to his son-in-law, Greg, for taking such good care of him and allowing him to remain in his dream home, having the ability to gaze out at the river he loved so much until the end. The family is also grateful for his friend, Old Buddy Ray McFarland, and recently departed friend, Bernard, for checking in on him often. We are also forever in debt for the great town of Guttenberg, which was the best place in the world for him to live his life and raise his family. Thank you Guttenberg! Memories are forever!

Online condolences may be left at www.iowacremation.com under obituaries.

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