Fred Albert Zierk obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Fred Albert Zierk

April 30, 1927 - June 12, 2017

Obituary


Fred Albert Zierk, a former Air Force counterintelligence officer, protected his country while raising a family. "My father didn't wear a uniform; he wore a business suit every day," his son Bob Zierk said while recalling life in Germany during the Cold War. Remembering his father's trips to Communist Berlin, Bob
Zierk said, "It was spy versus spy. I knew that when he took his sidearm, he was going into a dangerous situation." Fred Zierk died June 12 from complications tied to Alzheimer's disease. He was 90. Zierk grew up in Buffalo, New York, where...

Fred Albert Zierk, a former Air Force counterintelligence officer, protected his country while raising a family. "My father didn't wear a uniform; he wore a business suit every day," his son Bob Zierk said while recalling life in Germany during the Cold War. Remembering his father's trips to Communist Berlin, Bob
Zierk said, "It was spy versus spy. I knew that when he took his sidearm, he was going into a dangerous situation." Fred Zierk died June 12 from complications tied to Alzheimer's disease. He was 90. Zierk grew up in Buffalo, New York, where his father worked for a women's college. His mother and a sibling died
in childbirth. His family broke up after that. While living in a Catholic foster home, Zierk decided to leave high school. In 1944, he joined the Navy to fight in
World War II. On April 1, 1945, Zierk was part of a massive amphibious troop assault on Okinawa, Japan, his son recalled. "After World War II, he mustered
out of the Navy, worked a year in Buffalo and, in 1946, enlisted in the Army," his son said. When the Air Force split off from the Army, Zierk followed the Air Force, working as a military police officer. While stationed in Michigan, he met Joan Freund. They started their 43-year marriage in 1950. Over the years, the family grew with the addition of three sons. Family records show that while Zierk was in the Air Force, he was accepted into the Office of Special Investigations.
Rising through the ranks, he ran counterintelligence investigations, developed operational guidelines and helped identify espionage plots against the U.S. The records show that he received the Legion of Merit for his participation in counteracting a Soviet threat. While in the military, Zierk earned his GED and took college psychology courses through the University of Maryland, his son said. Although he did not go far in higher education, he valued it for his children. "He and Mother checked our homework and helped us with it," his son said. He added, "He was pretty conservative, believed in following the rules, spiritual development, and the importance of school and family." Retiring from the military in 1974 in San Antonio, he became a civilian special agent in 1979 and through numerous promotions became Region 4 director of operations, which supports the Air Education and Training Command. His career as a counterintelligence agent lasted 43 years.
Arrangements under the direction of Colonial Funeral Home, Universal City, Texas.