Russell Lea Zickler, Jr. joined the throng at God’s throne on Oct. 6, 2019.
He was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on Oct. 28, 1947 to Russell L. Zickler and Mary Ann Helen Barnucz Zickler.
Russell’s family moved to Bandera in 1950, where he grew up on a family ranch with four siblings: Jeffrey (deceased), Maryann, Susan and Barbara.
Russell was active in the Bandera Methodist Church choirs and MYF, Bandera schools and Boy Scout Troop 146. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was a member of the Order of the Arrow in Scouts.
He graduated from Bandera High School as valedictorian and went on to earn a B.S. in education at Texas Tech University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. He earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Houston.
Russell married his longtime sweetheart, Karen King, at Bandera United Methodist Church on Nov. 24, 1967.
From this loving union were born four children: Wilynn , Rusty (deceased), Shandra and Geoffrey.
Sons-in-law Chris Formeller and Harvey Sanders and daughter-in-law Carla Lara were welcomed with open arms. Grandsons ‘Liam, Dylan, ‘Drew, Caleb, Hank, Zac, Jeffrey and Jacob brought pure delight to Granddad!
Russell began his 37-year teaching career at Lake Jackson Intermediate School, then moved on to teach at Bandera High School and Center Point High School.
In Bandera, he reorganized the Bandera Junior High School boys’ athletic program and re-energized the University Interscholastic League math teams.
Students competing on the math teams consistently won district and regional meets. Teams frequently placed in state meets, with one team winning all categories of the math competition.
Russell was often nominated as Outstanding Academic Coach and was selected for that award in 1989.
After retiring from teaching, Russell continued coaching math teams until the fall of 2019.
As a final act in his long life of giving and teaching, Russell made the decision to donate his body for cancer and medical research.
Services are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Bandera United Methodist Church.