Monday, November 16th, 2009
Falling tree limb kills Coldwater farmer
By Margie Wuebker
A 76-year-old Coldwater man was killed Sunday morning as he cleared brush and trees from a wooded area near his home.
John K. Zuber, 5170 Township Line Road, was pronounced dead at the scene by Mercer County Coroner Dr. Timothy Heinrichs.
Zuber was operating a Ford utility tractor when a large limb broke and fell onto him. His wife, Lorene A. Zuber, had accompanied her husband to the wooded area and was there when the limb fell. The accident remains under investigation.
"It was a dead tree," she told The Daily Standard. "It happened so quick there was nothing we could do."
Lorene Zuber called Mercer County 911 with Mercer County Sheriff's deputies, a Coldwater unit of Mercer County Emergency Services and Coldwater Fire Department responding.
The longtime farmer formerly managed the fertilizer plant at Coldwater Grain North in Rockford. Following retirement, he went to work at Helena Chemical on Burkettsville-St. Henry Road near Coldwater.
"He loved farming," his wife said this morning. "Farming is all he ever wanted to do. He enjoyed field work and raising livestock. He has 18 steers outside in the pen."
Zuber tried to keep his farm as neat as possible. Undergrowth in the wooded area bothered him because it seemed to be intruding onto the neighbor's property, she said.
"John wanted to get the brush and trees cleared back and perhaps farm a bit more of the ground," his wife said. "That was our plan Sunday morning."
The couple observed their 55th wedding anniversary in August. Their family includes four children, one of whom is deceased.
Cisco Funeral Home in Celina has charge of arrangements.