Robert ‘Bob' Zierk, longtime retailer

WHEATON, Ill. - Robert "Bob" Zierk, a longtime retailer, has died at age 81. He had battled Alzheimer's disease for five years and had a stroke this past fall.
     Zierk got his start in the furnishings industry in 1953 as an assistant buyer for John M. Smyth Co. He rose through the ranks and was eventually named vice president and merchandise manager for the chain, which at one time had 12 stores.
     After 27 years with the company, Zierk ventured out on his own, opening Zierk's Home Furnishings in this area in 1980. The family-run business grew to five stores before it was sold in 2007 and Zierk retired. Zierk's Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed about a month after the sale, said his son, Mike Zierk, a territory manager for H.Home Furniture and Butler Specialty.
     Bob Zierk enjoyed traveling and sports and was an avid golfer. He coached youth sports for several years.
     He is survived by his wife, three sons, two daughters, 10 grandchildren, a brother, four sisters and several nieces and nephews.
     Memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis High School, 2130 W. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, Ill. 60187

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