In Memory of Roy Zeman

A private graveside service will be held.

Greenwood Cemetery
East Division Street
River Falls WI, 54022

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Age 88 of River Falls, Wisconsin, passed away November 13, 2020.  Roy P. Zeman was born on April 26, 1932 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Elizabeth and John Zeman. He grew up in the Highwood area of St. Paul and graduated from Harding High School in 1950. He attended the University of Minnesota, paying for school by working as an orderly at Miller Hospital, and graduated in 1957 with a degree in metallurgical engineering. He spent the summers of 1956 and 1957 using his engineering skills with work in Anaconda, Montana. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957-59, with basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado, and then worked at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon completing his Army service, he returned to the University of Minnesota, taking courses in mechanical engineering. He worked as an engineer at the American Hoist & Derrick Co from 1962-1966. He then began work at 3M as an engineer in 1966, retiring in 1996. At 3M, he worked first in the abrasives division, then specialty film, and ended in central research. While at 3M, he completed his second degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and passed the Professional Engineering exam. Upon retiring from 3M, he did contract engineering work and also did substitute teaching. He also spent time in Cook, Minnesota, where he had also spent many pleasant hours with outdoor activities while growing up. In 2001, he began work on a third college degree. In 2012, at the age of 80, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a major in Geology. He was married to Paulina Ingram in 1963 and one child was born to this union, Stephanie. The family moved to River Falls, Wisconsin in 1969. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Paulina, and his brother Kenneth. He is survived by his daughter Stephanie of River Falls, his brother Byron Zeman of Chisholm, Minnesota, and nieces and nephews.  He was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in River Falls. A private graveside service will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls with Rev. Christopher Myers officiating.

Funeral services are entrusted to O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home (715) 425-5644.

Roy's Tribute Wall

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  • My sincere condolences to Roy’s family. I had the pleasure of knowing Roy for many years while he was working on his geology degree. What a great guy! And a wonderful student! He took a number of my courses and field trips, always with enthusiasm! He was curious and interested in everything; I remember Roy bringing me articles he had read from some Science journal that pertained to my field, before I was aware of them!! He was truly a lifelong learner, and I might add a great example for the college students fifty years younger than him!! Rest In Peace, Roy!

  • I met Roy on my first day at 3M and we continued our friendship until Roy’s retirement from 3M. Early on we sat next to each other and shared one telephone line. Roy was a guiding force for me as I learned to be 3M engineer. We also had a lot of philosphical family discussions as Stephanie and my son were the same age. We kept in touch over the years, and later worked together again in Central Engineering. Roy was a great mentor, a great engineer, and a great friend.

  • To the Zeman family:

    My sincere sympathy for your loss. I worked with Roy for several years in Abrasive Engineering. He was a very dedicated employee and a good contributor to 3M and all the projects he worked on. Went on a couple of fishing trips with Roy also. No matter what Roy was involved with, he always “carried his own weight”.

    Rest in piece Old Friend.

    Sincerely—AL BLUMER

  • Stephanie:
    As you remember, Roy came with me on several geology field trips and was always one of the most valued participants. He brought maturity, good sense, reliability and a wonderful friendship to all the younger students. He also brought his truck, which usually meant we could take more gear! Considering the age difference between him and the others, that was a great achievement. He eventually took all my classes and I had many great hours of conversation with him. I will always remember him very fondly indeed – a great guy.

    He may have been the oldest graduate from UWRF ever (and certainly from our program) – quite the achievement!


  • To the Zeman family, I had the pleasure of working with Roy on a number of projects during our years at 3M as a Purchasing Agent. For a number of years our group and Abrasives Engineering were located in the same wing of Bldg 21. He was a good man, a team player and I enjoyed working with him. He always had 3M’s best interests at heart.
    Roy, thank you for your service to our country and RIP
    Thoughts and prayers for your loss.
    Fred Banholzer, 3M Retired Sourcing Manager, Vietnam Veteran-USN

  • Dear Stephanie, Your dad, Roy, was always so friendly, had a positive outlook on life, and great to visit with; a wonderful friend and neighbor. Our two thriving pine trees, from his place in northern Minnesota, are even more special now. May your many memories give you peace. Nancy & Mark Weinreich

  • Dear Stephanie, Dale and I are so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. We so enjoyed visiting with you both in River Falls a couple of years ago, and I have many fond memories of him during his visits with my folks at Elbow Lake. Uncle Roy was a good cribbage player, and his eagerness to learn new things made him an interesting and lively conversationalist. He will be missed. With love and deepest sympathy, Susan Z.