Robert Zollinger

Written by his daughter Lisa Wolfer Zollinger, Sarasota, Florida Spring 2002

My father Robert Zollinger was born on the Third of April 1901 in Zürich-Riesbach. He was the second youngest of four siblings, with an older brother Adolf and a older sister Melanie, as well as a younger brother Ernst. My father had already at a young age decided that he wanted to become a school teacher, and so he attended the "Lehrer Seminar" in Küsnacht, Zürich from 1917 to 1920. After his graduation his own father advised him to "see the world first", before he should take up a permanent teaching position. After having worked in Berlin, Germany and Paris, France and having explored some other places, he returned to Switzerland and found several challenging positions in the educational field until 1930, when he started his work as a teacher.

My parents were married in Zürich in the fall of 1929, but because of my father's modest salary they started out by renting a furnished apartment in Zürich-Wollishofen. In spite of the financial restrictions, he still managed to buy himself a piano, and he remained an enthusiastic music lover and piano player right up to his last hour. In addition to his regular work as primary school teacher he also taught flute lessons, and he was particularly proud of the fact that one of his students later became the famous and internationally known flutist Peter Lukas Graf.

In l934 Dad's cousin Max Zollinger who was an Architect, designed and built our house in Unter Engstringen, at that time a small rural community. There my Dad worked as an Elementary School Teacher from 1930 to1965. Thanks to my Dad, who was all his life a true nature lover I became familiar with all the forest plants at an early age. I even knew the names (including Latin) of the various wild mushrooms! Father also loved the mountains of our country, and continued to go mountain climbing until he was nearly eighty years old.

After his retirement, he finally found time to start his research project on family history which he had planned for may years. He spent long hours at the archives and libraries in Zürich to uncover documentation related to the family history of the Zollingers. He was also involved in the writing of the history of our community of Unter Engstringen, and he was the founder of the local museum. For his dedication to the town as a teacher as well as for the many other services he gave to his community, the town of Unter-Engstringen bestowed him an "honorary citizen" award.

My Dad's work in regard to our family history is very valuable for me, for my own family and for my brother Felix, as well as for the rest of the Zollinger Clan. Dad died in the fall of 1983 after a short illness at the age of 82.

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