Alvis Gene Zeller, 87, of South Roxana, passed away at 6:14 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at Relais Bonne Eau Hospice House in Edwardsville.
He was born Oct. 4, 1927, in Jarvis Township, Madison County, the son of the late Clarence and Irean (Starnes) Zeller.
He married the former Mary Thelma Willeford on Jan. 30, 1946, in Greenville, and she preceded him in death on Dec. 22, 1997.
Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Lynn and Ron Kuhn of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gena and Tom Boger of Roxana; two sons and daughters-in-law, Lyle and Carla Zeller of Plano, Texas, Laren and Elsa Zeller of Edwardsville; 10 grandchildren and their spouses, Anna and Jim Pearson of Bethalto, Sarah and Todd Henderson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Janna and Tyler Pitchford of East Alton, Emily and Cory Diveley of Wood River, Lauren and Paul Selberg of Apple Valley, Minn., Philip and Eryn Zeller of Dallas, Texas, Cpl. Evan Zeller, USMC; Ava Zeller, Ellen Zeller, Audrey Zeller, all of Edwardsville; 10 great-grandchildren; one brother, Bunyan Zeller of East Alton; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and other extended family and friends.
Alvis grew up in Old Ripley and attended Greenville High School. He worked at the Hartford Tannery prior to his enlistment in the United States Army, where he served during World War II. He was formerly employed at Stahly Cartage as a fleet maintenance supervisor for 43 years. He was a member of the Commercial Truck Maintenance Association of St. Louis and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Metro East Automotive Lodge No. 313 for more than 40 years. Alvis was instrumental in developing a hazardous material team for the trucking industry in the Metro East area. He assisted in the construction of Emmanuel Free Methodist Church in Alton, where he attended. He raised Hereford cattle and enjoyed gardening.
In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by one sister, Iva Massey.
In celebration of his life, visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, at Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River. Visitation will continue from noon until time of funeral services at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, at Emmanuel Free Methodist Church in Alton. The Rev. Mark Scandrett will officiate. Burial will follow at Wanda Cemetery in South Roxana with full military rites by the Ritual Team of VFW Post 1308 of Alton.
Memorials are suggested to Emmanuel Free Methodist Church or the USO and will be accepted at the funeral home.
Online guestbook available at www.pitchfordfuneralhome.com.