‘Ziggy’ Ziegler, a man of faith, graciousness and tireless service, dies at 89

CHRIS JORGENSEN

Longtime restaurant owner, Yellowstone County commissioner, and all-around decent man, James “Ziggy” Ziegler, died of cancer Thursday at age 89.

He died on the 66th anniversary of his wedding to Stella, whom he married when she was 17.

“He took me to my senior prom and that was it, we’ve been together ever since,” Stella said Friday morning. “He was quite a guy.”

Together Ziegler and Stella raised five kids, ran a KOA campground, a bakery and then a restaurant in downtown Billings that still serves homemade dishes and the best cinnamon rolls ever created.

Ziegler served 12 years as a Yellowstone County commissioner beginning in 1990, and before that four years as county auditor.

Ziegler 

But it may have been his prison ministry that, aside from family, is his greatest legacy.

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Ziegler developed a soft spot for prisoners as an antidote to the anger he felt after his father was murdered by two armed robbers in 1973. To get over his hurt, a friend suggested he visit the Montana State Prison

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