Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Spencer.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established by the family.
Mrs. Zahrt passed away Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Ann Marie Zahrt, the daughter of Nels and Mabel (Johnson) Lauritsen, was born Nov. 20, 1933, in Sioux Rapids, Ia. Her childhood years were spent in the Gillett Grove area where she received her education, graduating from Gillett Grove High School in 1951.
Ann married Darwin "Scooter" Zahrt on July 8, 1951, in Webb, Ia. Following their marriage, they lived in Spencer, Ia., where Ann worked at Younkers. She later began her career as executive director of the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross, a career that she devoted countless hours to helping others for many years until her retirement. Ann adopted a saying taught to her by her mother, which she lived by and passed to her family, "If you have the gift of compassion, all other gifts will come to you." Ann was a member of First English Lutheran Church in Spencer. She was recently supporting a young man in Africa and a Native American school in South Dakota. Ann and Darwin were instrumental in the immigration and continued care of several Laotian families to northwest Iowa. Some of her many awards were Women of the Year in 2005, Iowa State Tiffany Award in 1993, the Governor's award for working with refugees and the Spencer Roasters Club for service to mankind. Her hobbies were her family and helping people.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and two granddaughters: Katie Ann Huffman and Abby Jo Zahrt.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband, Darwin Zahrt of Spencer; her children and their spouses: Craig Zahrt of Spencer, Lynn and Mike Huffman of Spencer, Curtis and Barb Zahrt of Fargo, N.D., Clark and Jolene Zahrt of Spencer, and Cory and Misty Zahrt of Adel, Ia.; 14 grandchildren: Chancy, Cheyanne and Tanner Zahrt, Andrew Huffman, Kerri Robinson, Kristena Oviatt, Kelsie Bacaam and Kourtney Huffman, Shane Zahrt, Megan and Jesse Zahrt, and Corbin, Chloe and Chaise Zahrt; great-grandchildren: Jesslynn, Natalee, Lauren, Isabella, Maddox, Harper, Dylan, Emersyn and Jayda; her four siblings: Shirlee Hartman of Mason City, Ia., Barbara Christensen of North Platte, Neb., Chris Lauritsen and wife, Sheryl of Mason City, Ia., and Garnet Johnston and husband, Bill of Lake Ozark, Mo.; several nieces and nephews; her Laotian family; other relatives and many friends.
Warner Funeral Home of Spencer is in charge of arrangements.