Kenneth Zerkel

February 1, 1963–July 31, 2018

Our Kenny Zerkel passed away from this life on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Kenny was born February 1, 1963, in Columbus, Ohio, to the union of Jim and Bev Zerkel.  He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Joplin.  Kenny attended Kelsey Norman Grade School and East Junior High School and graduated from Parkwood High School and the University of Missouri – Rolla, majoring in Management Engineering.  Kenny worked for the family business, Snyder Bridge and Snyder Construction Company, for over 30 years and served as Vice President of Operations the last 15 years.  He was also active in the Association of General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri, serving on the Young Executives Board and Bridge Division Committee.  Kenny was involved in many area bridge and road construction projects in the Southwest Missouri area.

Kenny was a good son, loyal brother, cool uncle, great friend and special person that made an imprint on our world.  He left us with great riches found in his sons, Oliver and Landon.  Oliver and Landon will continue to bear fruit of his life.  Kenny was an amazing father to his sons, volunteering to coach them from a young age in all sports.  One of his fondest memories was coaching Landon’s team in the Little League World Series in 2002.  He supported both boys in all they did and he was their #1 fan.  Kenny loved each son without conditions and gave his time as the priority.

Kenny was a beautiful human, humble, slow to anger, free of judgement and earnest to all.  He was our “safety” and put others first in his life.  Our memories will live on of his good nature and fun, watching the brothers at Rosedale “gang” diving, his smile and humor and always being available to his family.

In addition to his close love for and bond with the Z brothers, Kenny had a special “band” of brothers assembled along his journey.  Kenny was a “quiet” leader, talented athlete and respected by his teammates.  He received many honors and awards playing football, in high school and college, as a key leader on teams that won state and conference championships.  Kenny is a member of both the University of Missouri – Rolla and the Missouri State High School Hall of Fame.

We are full of sorrow for our loss, but encouraged by the legacy of his life, his sons and the future of his family.  We are thankful to see his best attributes in each of his sons and we will long for his companionship as the memories remain with us.  Kenny was kind, gentle, loyal, caring and talented.  We grant our brother God’s peace and know his spirit is well, with our gift to love and support one another in our loss on this earth.

Kenny was preceded in death by his mother, Beverly Zerkel; a brother, Brian Zerkel; and a sister, Mary Ann Zerkel.

Survivors include his two sons, Oliver and Landon Zerkel; his father, Jim Zerkel, Sr., of Joplin; brothers, Russ Zerkel and wife, Susan, of Joplin, Jim Zerkel, Jr. and wife, Debbie, of Joplin, Brad Zerkel of Kansas City, Missouri, and Paul Zerkel and wife, Julie, of Carterville; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends.
Funeral services for Kenny are 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 6, 2018, in the chapel of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary.  Burial will follow at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin.  Those honoring his life by serving as pallbearers are Tim Kemper, Ricky Caruthers, Craig Koenig, Bud Schneickert, Randy Caruthers and Craig Whittington.  The family will receive friends from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the mortuary.  In lieu of flowers memorials are being directed to the Missouri Southern State University Scholarship Foundation in care of the mortuary.  Online condolences may be sent through our website http://www.thornhilldillon.com.  Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, Joplin, Missouri.

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