John Orin Zipperer Jr, age 88, passed away peacefully with family on December 26, 2020. John was born on October 20, 1932 in Sebring, Florida to John Orin Zipperer Sr and Madge B Zipperer. He is predeceased by his parents; his wife, Jennie Lee Zipperer; and his son, John O. (Amy) Zipperer III. He is survived by his son, Robert Douglas (Catherine) Zipperer; two daughters, Diana Stried, Jenny Elizabeth; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
As a youth, John attended Edison Park Elementary School and went on to graduate from Fort Myers High School in 1950. In 1953, he married Jennie Lee Wheeler while they were both attending the University of Florida. As partners, they played an invaluable role in making Florida farming what it is today. One year later, John received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.
Following college, he served in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany for two years.
Upon his return to Florida, he joined his father in the gladiolus and chrysanthemum business. He was president of the Florida Flower Association for many years and tried to protect the floral business from foreign imports. Alongside his flower career, he started raising cattle with his wife, Jennie Lee Zipperer, resulting in his purchase of several ranches. At their peak, they had over 3,000 heads of cattle and were known to produce some of the best Beefmaster cattle in the business. After retirement, John wasted no time in building a successful oil and gas business in his spare time. He drilled many wells and is credited with several discoveries of small oil and gas fields.
He and his wife were passionate art collectors and were some of the first art connoisseurs in the area. He was an avid HO railroad builder, loved to watch his bird dogs work quail, enjoyed catching a largemouth bass on occasion, played a good game of tennis, and was a tremendous horseback rider; but what he loved the most was dancing with his wife, Jennie Lee, and what a dancer he was!
The family will receive friends from 1 PM to 5 PM Saturday, January 23, 2021 at The Veranda, 2122 Second St., Fort Myers, FL, with services beginning at 2 PM. Flowers may be sent to The Veranda or a donation can be made to the B.E.E.F. Scholarship Fund, 118 West Bandera Rd., Boerne, Tx. 78006. Please mark in Memory of John O. Zipperer Jr.