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John R. Ziemann

7/25/1941 – 8/31/2022

The world lost a unique and creative person when John R. Ziemann, age 81, left this life on August 31, 2022, after a courageous battle with congestive heart failure.

Following a long career as a university administrator in Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington State and Arizona, John became a professional photographer specializing in wedding and nature photography.

John and his wife Barbara moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2006 to be closer to children and grandchildren where he continued his work in photography and gave his time and talents as a volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital and the American Heart Association. Most recently, John served as a lead volunteer for AARP Grand Rapids, helping to originate and run programs like AARP on Tap and Learn-a-Latte that brought older adults together to socialize and get information about subjects and services important to their lives.

John had many happy memories of his childhood in Marinette, Wisconsin, and his life in a household that included his parents, Joseph and Viola Ziemann, his brother, Joseph Kent, his aunt, Alice Sunstrom and his grandfather, Oscar Sunstrom who immigrated to the United States from Sweden. He honored his Scandinavian heritage by using his talents as a woodcarver to make decorative Swedish kitchen instruments and dala horses. He loved to cook, especially pizza. Never one to shrink from a challenge, he even built a woodfired pizza oven in his back yard in Northwest Grand Rapids.

John is survived by his wife, Barbara; his daughters, Julie Ziemann and Jennifer Warner; his step son, Stephen Marouchoc; and grandchildren, Alexis Ziemann Bell, Sarah Warner, Kaitlin Marouchoc, Hannah Warner, and Keagan Ziemann Bell.

John will be remembered by family and friends with laughter, love, and gratitude. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Gifts in his memory may be made to The AARP Foundation or the American Heart Association.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign John’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


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