Delaine 'Del' Zempel

Funeral services for Del Zempel will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Fron Lutheran Church in Starbuck. Pastor Paul Johnson will officiate.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church. Burial is at Fron Cemetery, rural Starbuck. 

Delaine Clarence Zempel was the only child born to Clarence and Gladys (Goulson) Zempel on April 3, 1948 in Montevideo. Del was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Montevideo and also received his education there, graduating with the Montevideo High School class of ’66. Following high school, Del attended St. Olaf College in Northfield where he received a degree in Sociology. He moved back to Montevideo after four years and then continued his education at Southwest State University in Marshall for his accounting degree.  Del began his career working as an auditor in the Twin Cities area which lead him into healthcare financing. He was the CFO of hospitals including one in Osceola, Wis.  It was in Osceola where Del met Cheryl Raddatz, who was the Director of Nursing at the adjoining nursing home.   The couple was married on August 31, 1984 in Star Prairie, Wis. and made their home in Osceola. In 1988, they moved to St. Peter where Del worked for the St. Peter Community Hospital. In the fall of 1989, Del adopted Cheryl’s son, Matt. This was a big moment in all of their lives and a role that Del was very proud of. After their retirements, Del and Cheryl moved to Starbuck to be closer to their families. 

Del was a member of Fron Lutheran Church in Starbuck and was involved with the Ham Operator Group while in St. Peter. He was a sports enthusiast! Del could tell you the stats of any athlete and was a huge Minnesota Vikings and Twins fan. In addition to professional sports, Del enjoyed watching his grandkids play.  He liked spending time outdoors – hunting, fishing, birdwatching and being a self-proclaimed grill master! Del did wonderful counted cross-stitch work and was a collector of many, many things. 

Del died on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud with Cheryl by his side. He was 73 years old. 

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl of Starbuck; son, Matt (Kristi) Zempel of Starbuck; Cheryl’s son, Bryan (Katie) Raddatz of Dresser, Wis.; three grandchildren – Misti Zempel of Starbuck, Alex Raddatz and Bryanna Raddatz, both of Dresser; brother-in-law, John Wolter of Osceola; and niece, Rachel (Joe) Yates of Cokato. He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Gladys Zempel; and parents-in-law, Ernie and Avis Wolter.  

Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck is in care of arrangements for Del. To send condolences to the family, online, visit

Posted online on May 20, 2021