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Zeller, Mildred, 1940-2000



  • Existence: 1940 - 2000


Mildred "Micki" Joyce Koob was born in Independence, Iowa on July 18, 1940. She was the second child of Elsie Merle Woodward Koob and Harold Frederick Koob, and sister to Kathryn, Mary Jane (Enquist), Vivian (Homeyer), Anabeth (Voigts) and Emogene (Zuck.) The Koob girls were the fifth generation of their family to be raised on a farm in Jubilee, just south of Jesup, Iowa. Micki Koob could not wait to get off the farm and left home after graduating from Jesup High School in 1958. Koob attended the Ray-Vogue School of Design in Chicago, Illinois for two years, followed by another two years at Brunswick, also in Chicago. During her training in Chicago, Koob served as costume designer for the Miami Playhouse and the Philadelphia Playhouse in the Park. Around 1962, Koob went to New York where she worked for Ray Simpson and other major costume shops.

As a girl on the Iowa farm, Koob used to listen to the radio while milking the cows. On one occasion she heard Lowell Thomas talk about Nepal, and from then on she dreamed of going to Nepal. In 1973, Koob had saved enough money to realize her dream and trekked to the base camp on Mt. Everest. Koob's real passion for traveling was fulfilled after she married Robert (Bob) Zeller in November 1976. Bob Zeller retired soon after their marriage and they traveled the world, being among the first to visit Bhutan when it opened up to outsiders. Both Micki and Bob Zeller were licensed scuba divers, and many of their trips included diving. The Zellers divorced in 1994.

Micki Zeller was diagnosed with cancer in 1996. She did not permit her cancer to interfere with her love of traveling and underwent chemotherapy treatments all over the world before succumbing to the disease on April 12, 2000.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mildred "Micki" Zeller papers

Identifier: IWA0722

Costume designer and avid traveler whose papers include an extensive collection of slides, related travel diaries, and materials pertaining to the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Dates: 1946-2000