In Memory of

Tyson Ray Zellaha

May 3, 1988 - October 18, 2019
From: Spencer, IA
Tyson Ray Zellaha

Tyson Ray Zellaha

Born: May 3, 1988
Died: October 18, 2019
Age: 31

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     Tyson Ray Zellaha was born May 3, 1988 to parents Shane and Diana Zellaha in Alliance, NE. Tyson was raised in Spencer, IA with his sister Shayna. He graduated from Spencer High School with the class of 2006. Before graduation, Tyson enlisted into the United States Marine Corp. After graduation, he served 8 years, earning the rank of  Sergeant, 2 tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was honorably discharged. While living in California, he married Kristen Pelletier, they later divorced. To this union two children were born, son Landon Ray (4) and daughter Brooklyn Rae (2).

     Tyson lived with his family in Cincinnati, OH from 2013 to 2018. Upon moving back to Iowa, he spent time with his sister Shayna and her family and made many trips back and forth to Cincinnati, spending time with his children, the loves of his life! Daddy Tyson made lots of fun times for them when they were together, including camping in the rain, jumping on the beds in hotels, and eating whatever they wanted. Tyson was a wonderful father!

     Tyson is survived by his children, Landon and Brooklyn; parents, Shane and Diana; sister Shayna (Cory) Ege; nieces Emma and Ellie; grandmothers, Marilyn Zellaha and Kathy Merrill; many aunts; uncles; cousins; friends around the world; his Marine Corp brothers for life; and his loyal service dog “Bitz” who was always by his side.

     Tyson was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Max Merrill and Richard Zellaha.

     Special thank you to his sister Shayna, brother-in-law Cory, friend Matt Smith, and many family and friends who were there for Tyson in his time of need.  

     Memorials for his children may be sent to: Shayna Ege 1116 West Cedar Street, Cherokee, Iowa 51012
Funeral services will take place 1:00 P.M., Monday, October 28, at First Christian Church in Spencer.

Military Services:
American Legion Glen Pedersen Post #1
V.F.W. Clay County Post #3159

Rev JoAnn Thomas
Matt Smith
Colton Meyer
Bo Sports
Brody Roes
Uncle James Merrill
Cory Ege

Zack Vasa
Neal Overton
Casey Brower
Uncle Jim Johnson
Uncle Bob Johnson
Uncle Dave Roes
Visitation will take place Sunday, October 27, starting at 4:00 P.M., with family present from 4-6:00 P.M., at First Christian Church in Spencer.
"The Dance" Garth Brooks
"The Marines' Hymn" Grandma Marilyn 
"Lucky Man" Emerson, Lake & Palmer
"Don't Cry For Me" Libby Allen
"From A Distance" Bette Midler
"Amazing Grace" Congregational
"You'll Never Walk Alone" Congregational
North Lawn Memorial Park
Spencer, Iowa


Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 10:24 AM
“My family and I are heartbroken to hear about Tyson's passing. I just heard of his passing today. He was a very nice man and a good father. I am extremely sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.”
- Chris Rivello
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 7:51 AM
“To my nephew's, family and friends my deepest sympathies and condolences. I struggled to write something due to my own experiences and understanding of my nephew's passing. I followed him a little on Facebook and knew of some of his struggles. Being in the military creates a special bond among those that wear the uniform. Therefore, I close with salute and the words, I'll always love you my brother. Be at peace now knowing your pain is gone and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will prepare you your room. Rest well my brother, rest well.”
- Jan Johnson
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 11:54 AM
“I'm sorry to the family for their loss. I dated him in 2010 and while it wasnt a good ending, I'm sure he will be missed by his family. ”
- Brittany and Zealia R Harris (almost 9 years old)
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 9:54 AM
“My son Wesley Brown knew your son and I’m so sorry that this happened. I reached out to a group on Twitter that supports vets and family and friend in their time of need. Code of Vets”
- Jill Wilkerson
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 7:58 AM
“Thank you for your service sir. I'm so sorry we laid such a burden on you. Prayers to the family.”
- Carol sowerby
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 7:58 AM
“Thank you for all you did for our country. Blessings to your soul and your family. We appreciate you. (saw posting on twitter from Code of Vets)”
- Louella Tham
Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 7:58 AM
“Tyson I did not know you, however the Corps made us Brothers for life. Rest easy Marine. Semper Fi Brent Dexter CPL 1987-1991”
- Brent Dexter
Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 8:07 AM
“Semper Fi”
- Essie L Craft
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 8:03 AM
“Tyson, your smile seriously lit up a room; in the end it couldn’t light your own darkness. Rest easy my friend.
- Julie De La Rosa
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 8:03 AM
“I remember all the fun, all the smiles, all the cheers and I know that will never change. That's who you are. You were that guy that could lighten up any situation. We havent talked as much since 3/11 but we still remain brothers. Rest in peace brother, we have the watch Semper Fi ”
- Joe Ott
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 8:02 AM
“Rest in peace, Tyson. I was just chatting with you only a few weeks ago. my condolences to his beloved children and family. Fair winds, following seas, Sergeant Tyson Zellaha.

To Tyson's children and family:

I had the honor and privilege of being Tyson's last officer in the United States Marine Corps. He and I had stayed in touch on and off since he left. When we talked, it was often about Marine things, but more often than not, he talked about his children, and about how much he loved them. He was a handful of a man, a gregarious personality, with bigger than life stories - and some of them true! - and among some, poorly understood. When his children are older, I hope that they know that Tyson served with honor, pride, and virtue... and at all times, mindful of his children. He loved you so much, that he would tell his lieutenant about you all the time, years later. May peace be with your family, and with your memories of him.

Semper fidelis, Sergeant Zellaha. I'll see you in Fiddler's Green.

Major James Freeman, US Marine Corps

We Artillerymen are indeed a very privileged group. In addition to the protection of our Patron Saint during life, we can look forward to our own special heaven after the sounding of TAPS. I refer, of course, to FIDDLER's GREEN.
Down through the ages, all purveyors of the fire, members of the ancient profession of stone hurlers, catapulters, rocketeers, and GUNNERs, better known as Field Artillerymen, have discussed this special place in the hereafter, where someday each of us will be privileged to roam. There are as many tales of the Green as there are old Artillerymen; stories rich with the smell of gunpowder and campfires; and flavored with a taste of Artillery Punch. Imagine, if you will, a starry night, many years ago...
In Gun Position 15 (which for you youngsters is now Artillery Firing Area 31) just after a coordinated illum mission, nestled in the shadows of the Regimental CP is a battery of smoothbore cannon camped for the night. As the campfires dim and the flasks of rum and lemon empty, the conversation turns to life in the hereafter. A rugged old section chief is surprised to learn that not all present have heard of supplies of GRID SQUARES, ST-1's, B-1-RD's; few have ever been sent to fetch a hundred meters of gun target line or for the combination to the firing lock; fewer still have been availed of the highest of knowledge; the greatest piece of Artillery lore; the Special Destiny awaiting all Artillerymen. As the young cannoneers listen intently, he shares with them the Legend of FIDDLER's GREEN.
It is generally conceded, he explains, that the souls of the departed eventually end up in Heaven or Hell. Heaven lies about six klicks down the dusty road to eternity and can be reached by turning left at the first crossroad. From that same junction, Hell is about eight or nine klicks straight ahead. The road is easy to identify; it's the one paved with good intentions. A little way down the road to Hell, there's a sign pointing to a trail that runs off to the right of the main road which reads:
When Artillerymen die, their souls form up in the battery area, where they are regrouped into gun sections. Then, they load their belongings onto a caisson or 5-Ton, whichever isn't deadlined, point their Advanced Party down that long road to Eternity and move out at the authorized speed limit (as set by the Regimental Motor Transport Officer). Like all crusty old Marines, Artillerymen face the call to eternal damnation calmly, and pass by the turnoff to heaven without a second glance... BUT, unlike the others, Artillerymen are met by a Gun Guide at the next turnoff--the road to FIDDLER's GREEN. The road to Hell, which continues beyond, is crowded with Engineers, Infantrymen, Aviators, and other miscreants, not to mention the droves of Sailors and Soldiers (of the non-redleg variety). It is at this point that Field Artillerymen bid farewell to their old comrades and wheel their teams down the trail to the Green.

The Green nestles in a large valley spotted with trees and crossed with many cool streams. One can see countless tents and several large buildings in the center. Laughter can be heard from afar off. At the entrance are several long picket lines for the prime movers as well as picket lines of another kind with members of the local chapter of the Environmental Protection Agency. Oh well, at least Arty Mechs are on hand to service the pieces after the long march.
There is a representative of the Almighty Great Gunner present to scan the rolls of the Orders of Saint Barbara and to attest to the fact that all who are seeking entrance are true Artillerymen. Once certified, true Artillerymen are met with open arms and immediately given a generous flask of that Immortal Nectar---Artillery Punch.
FIDDLER's GREEN is a unique place. It is believed to be the only Heaven claimed by a professional group as exclusively it's own. (However, our Marine Corps brethren, those who didn't serve the Field Artillery, guard the streets of someone else's Heaven and call us if they need reinforcing fires.)
The Green is a gathering place of rugged professionals. Their claim to fame is that they served their pieces well and selflessly while on earth. The souls of all departed Artillerymen are camped here, forever gathered in comradeship. In the center of their countless tents and campfires is an old exchange where liquor is free. There are Taverns and Dance Halls. Credit is good; no questions asked. There is always a glass, a friend, and a song. Daily routine consists of full time R&R. There isn't even a Command Duty roster. Everything is strictly non-regulation. The chow is plentiful and good, and.....there is no waiting in line. The main pastimes are dancing, drinking, and singing all day... and, well... dancing, drinking, and singing all night. The Green flows with rum, whiskey and pleasures known only to a few on earth. The Chiefs of Artillery, old Battery Commanders, Section Chiefs, and Gunners down through the Powder Man---they are all here.
Periodically, an Artilleryman feels a compulsion to continue down the road to Hell. He repacks his gear, fills his canteens with Artillery Punch, makes provisions for his horse (or tops off the HMMWV) and bids farewell to his comrades. He departs for the main road, turning South towards Hell. He was not forced to leave the Green, but felt he must go of his own accord. HAH, do not despair my friends! Not a single Artilleryman has ever made it all the way to Hell, because their canteens of Artillery Punch are empty long before they make it and they have to return to the Green for a refill---NEVER again to leave.
This then is the story of FIDDLER's GREEN. There are many versions. Of course, occasionally, stories circulate to the effect that the Green is shared with Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen. Don't you believe it. Only the Officers and Men of the Noblest Arm, the King of Battle, the Field Artillery, could continue to enjoy the comradeship and spirit of their most honored occupation after death. Just as in life, where not all are privileged to be Field Artillerymen, so too after death, only these privileged few may enjoy the rewards of a special Heaven that is uniquely their own.
So, fellow Artillerymen, as we Close Station, March Order to decamp the gun postion of life, having occupied this position in service to our great nation, we contemplate our movement brief and proceed with confidence that, protected by Saint Barbara, we need fear nothing. And even if we should collide with the rocks of temptation or bog down in the quagmire of sin, remember....our comrades will be waiting for us by the campfire at FIDDLER's GREEN.”
- Jame P. Freeman
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 8:01 AM
“There's plenty of 5/11 brothers waiting for you. Till Valhalla. ”
- Jacob Wainscott
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 2:24 PM
“I'm so sorry, brother. You will be missed. You and your family will be in my thoughts. Rest easy, brother. Until Vahalla we meet again. Semper Fi, Cpl Stephens”
- Nick Stephens and Family
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 8:31 AM
“Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the little ones he left behind, I thought after we survived 29 Palms together we'd get through anything. Gone but never forgotten. ”
- Daniel Guerrero
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 8:31 AM
“To the family of Tyson,
My prayers are with you during this horrendous time. My heart goes out to you all. Tyson was one of the most talented Marines I’ve had the pleasure of working with. His smile could lift the moral of the entire platoon. I am deeply sorry for your loss. ”
- Jonathan Harlan
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 8:31 AM
“Just found out today, you will be missed brother man, will remember the good and the bad times man, Rest easy bro, love you man condolences to your family ”
- Juan De La Rosa
Monday, October 28, 2019 at 8:02 AM
“I'm sorry to hear this awful news. I'm thinking of all his family and especially his two babies. RIP Tyson x”
- Shell
Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 1:04 PM
“Diana, please know my heart just breaks for you!! You have been in my thoughts and prayers since I heard the news! I know how much you loved him (& Shayna) and how a piece of your heart has now gone with him. May you feel the loving arms of Jesus wrapping you up in His care during these difficult days and the weeks and months ahead! Much love being sent along with a virtual hug! ”
- Kim (Carrigan) Baxter
Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 8:10 AM
“Shane, Diane, and family, it is with a heavy heart that I offer you all my deepest and most sincere condolences. They say that time heals all wounds, I pray for you all and for god's speed in your healing. May God bless you Tyson and may he hold you in the Hallows of his hands!
- James Merrill
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 7:53 PM
“So very sorry to hear of Tyson’s passing. May you find comfort and peace at this difficult time. Cherish your memories. ”
- Mike and Staci Jensen
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 2:46 PM
“So sorry to hear of Tysons passing. Prayers for him and his family.”
- Marlene Westphalen
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 2:46 PM
“Diana and family....I am sorry to hear of the loss of your son and brother. It is obvious by the many kind words I see here that he was and always will be a wonderful person that was taken far too soon. Know that he rests in peace now and will forever watch over you. Gods Blessing to all of you. ”
- Penny Ashland
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 2:45 PM
“To Tyson's family, we send our prayers for strength! Life presents a pathway so much of the time that is too hard to travel and comprehend. We have you in our thoughts and hearts.”
- Don and Joni Jespersen
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 8:01 AM
“So very sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. ”
- Phil and Lisa Breen Family
Friday, October 25, 2019 at 8:01 AM
“So sorry for you loss, our prayers and thought are with you and your family. He was a proud Marine who truly loved his children. May he find peace in heaven Love Brian Colleen and Family”
- Brian & Colleen Pelletier
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 8:56 PM
“Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.”
- Steve & Dayna Merrill
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 7:57 PM
“Dear Diana..... Words just seem so empty.... my heart is breaking for you all. Praying for you. One day at a time....sometimes One moment at a time. May Jesus carry you through the coming days, weeks months and years. ”
- Joannie Loring
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 11:33 AM
when you passed I didn't just lose my friend, I lost a man I considered my brother, you were always there for me with a brilliant smile and a quip that always made me laugh.
You were there for me when my life fell apart and gave me the strength to pick myself up.
I'll miss your pranks and the 3am chats I'll never forget you!
Sleep well little brother.

'Semper fi'
"Arte et Marte" ”
- Neal Overton
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 9:58 AM
“Although I did not know you we are Brothers. Rest in Peace Marine your watch is over.”
- Sgt J W Henslee
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 7:56 AM
“My condolences go to the entire Zellaha family. Tyson was, and forever will be, my brother in arms. From Boot Camp to hanging out in Pendleton, I will always cherish the time we spent together. I know Tyson is now guarding the streets of heaven. ”
- Jacob Elliott
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 7:55 AM
“I will remember your smile. Rest in peace”
- M
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 7:55 AM
“My condolences for your loss I remeber Tyson in school. He always has a smile on his face and was determined. He will be missed by his friends and fellow Marines.
Semper Fi
LCpl Becker ”
- Shawn Becker
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 8:52 PM
““He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." God Bless my Brother Marine! Semper Fi! USMC 88-92. ”
- Scott
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 8:52 PM
“Prayers being sent to all his family and friends !! Rest In Peace Brother !! Semper Fidelis !! ”
- William Knight
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 8:52 PM
“Please accept my sincere condolences in the loss of Tyson. I did not know him, but I am sure we shared the same types of events during our active duty. The picture tells me this was a happy, pleasant confident young man. I am saddened that his life ended at such a young age. Your loss is enormous, but know that Marines all around the World feel the loss of a brother and we will keep him and the family in our thoughts and prayers. Mike Wifler, Maj, USMC (Ret). AcDu 4/1960-5/1986”
- Maj Mike Wifler, USMC(Ret)
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:15 PM
“Dear Zellaha family, I would like to offer my condolences so sorry for your families loss. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers during this time of need. I didn’t know your son, but he was one of our brothers. Fair winds and following seas.... Semper Fidelis!”
- Ben Gentry
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:14 PM
“Semper Fi Brother. May God Bless You and Keep You.”
- Ernie M.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 6:45 PM
“Semper Fi brother... Guard those gates, We will see you soon... ”
- Rob Jackson
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 5:49 PM
“Our thoughts, prayers, and sincere sympathy goes out to the entire Zellaha Family. We're all so sorry to here of Tyson's passing. Virgil, Cindy, Marcy, and Sandy Zellaha”
- Virgil, Cindy, Marcy, Sandy Zellaha
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 7:42 PM
“My deepest condolences to the Zellaha Family. I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news of Tyson’s passing. I will always cherish the times we played PlayStation online and the funny things that he would say to people. I also will remember the times we would drink together when we were younger. I’m going to miss him. Tyson was a great friend and a proud Marine. I am so sorry for your loss. ”
- Brandon Meyer
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 4:37 PM
“We are very sorry to hear about Tyson's passing. Please know that we are keeping you lifted up in prayers. ”
- Matt & Missy Lair
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 4:36 PM
“Zellaha family, We are so very sorry to hear about Tyson. Thoughts and Prayers are with your family.”
- Mike & Renee Juza
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 9:18 AM
“We’re so so sorry to hear about Tyson. He was such a nice young man and always so polite when he was at our house. He thought the world of his grandma Marilyn and always talked about her. I loved that about him. Prayers for your family. Rest In Peace Tyson!”
- Cindi Seibold
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 9:18 AM
“My prayers are with all of you. Sincere and deepest sympathy for everyone..”
- Toni Corcoran
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 9:18 AM
“Diana and family you have my prayers and condolences at this difficult time. ”
- Cindy Hahn
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 9:17 AM
“My prayers are for peace in your hearts as you try to heal !
Otherwise there are no words .......
Sending my love !!!”
- Rhonda Olson
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 4:54 PM
“Zellaha Family,
So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers for comfort to you all.

Todd & Kim Haisman & family”
- Kim (Corcoran) Haisman
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 2:44 PM
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you . Tyson was a wonderful young man and will be so missed by all of you. ”
- Adrienne Rumbaugh
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM
“Sorry for your loss, prayers for family”
- Cindy Ellenwood
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM
“We’re so sorry to hear about Tyson! We remember him when he was a young Boy Scout with our boys! He was always a pleasant kid! I know he was a proud Marine! It is very heart wrenching to lose a son/brother! You are in our thoughts and prayers!”
- James & Marsena Hubbard
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM
“Zellaha Family - Marilyn, Shane & Diana, Shana, and Jodi. SO sorry to learn of Tyson's passing. May God have Mercy on his soul. Rest in peace Tyson. ”
- Gina Ean
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM
“Very sorry to Marilyn, Shane, Diana, Shayna, Landon and Brooklyn. I am heart broken to hear this. Tyson was a huge part of my childhood and i will forever cherish the memories. From doing his paper route together, going to his baseball games, sledding to fishing in the river.

Rest easy, Tyson. ”
- Eric Cargin
Monday, October 21, 2019 at 7:59 AM
“My deepest sympathies go out to his family. It is with great sadness that such a good man is gone too soon. May you accept my families most sincerest condolences & you find peace in knowing he himself is now at peace. ”
- The Kleckners
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:39 PM
“Tyson’s family I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you all.”
- Linda Sorenson
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