Ron Zierer died on March 28 from a sudden cardiac event. He was 81.
Ron was a longtime resident of the Austin/Irving neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side. He was also active in the gay community since the early 1960s, regaling friends with stories, good and bad, of pre-Stonewall gay life in Chicago. Ron would usually be found on his trusty bicycle during his visits to gay watering spots. He was an early member of the Lincoln Park Lagooners.
Zierer was noted for his love and vast knowledge of classical music, actively supporting the Civic Orchestra of Chicago [the CSO's training orchestra for young musicians] and WFMT classic radio. Ron rarely missed a Civic Orchestra performance, and was usually found in the terrace seats of Orchestra Hall. He would have been enormously successful at a classical music version of Name that Tune.
While he worked at simple jobs during his lifetime, he was able to quietly build a small fortune that, per his direction, is being given to charities supporting the homeless, the hungry, and the elderly. Support is also being provided to classical music organizations.
Ron was born in Chicago on Oct. 10, 1933, the son of Robert and Margaret [Cottini] Zierer. Growing up in and about his parents' bakery led to his lifetime practice of always bringing baked goods to gatherings of friends. His parents and a younger brother, John Zierer, preceded him in death.
A memorial service and gathering in Ron's honor will be held on Saturday, June 6, at 1 p.m. at the United In Faith Lutheran Church, 6525 W. Irving Park Rd. Burial of his ashes in the family plot at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines will immediately follow the service. For further information, call 773-275-1460.