Leland D. and Betty Jane Ziegler


As they were inseparable in life, they would not be separated by death.

Leland Denson Ziegler, 88, and Betty Jane (Bicheno) Ziegler, 87, died within three weeks of each other.

Lee died Saturday, March 23 at Hoag Hospital and Betty died on Sunday, April 14 at home both in Newport Beach, Calif. They had just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary having married in 1943. They first lived in Los Angeles in a home built by Betty’s father with her grandmother Annie Chappell and her aunt Edith Chappell while Lee served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Their first home together was in Los Angeles. Later they built and moved into a home in La Crescenta before fulfilling their dreams of retiring to their Balboa Island home in Newport Beach in 1989. They enjoyed spending the summers at their condo in Honolulu, Hawaii for several years.

Lee was born on Oct. 25, 1924 in Los Angeles, the sixth child born to the late William Floyd and Olivia (Denson) Ziegler. Lee was employed in the wholesale produce industry for over 40 years, first working with his father who started the Ziegler Produce business in 1908 in Los Angeles. Lee, along with his brother Forrest, continued the family business. Later he started Lee Ziegler & Son Provisions with son Dennis in 1973 before retiring. Lee was the last survivor of his siblings.

Betty was born May 22, 1925 in Glendale, Calif., the second child born to the late James and May (Chappell) Bicheno. A half-brother, James A. Bicheno, preceded her in death in 2011.

While raising her family, Betty attended Cal State College L.A. graduating the same year as her oldest son James in 1966. She earned her BA and a teaching certificate. Betty retired after teaching at Rosemont Middle School in La Crescenta for over 20 years.

Both Lee and Betty attended Los Angeles High School. They were active members of La Crescenta First Baptist Church until they moved to Newport Beach where they became members of Mariners Church.

Lee enjoyed woodworking, golfing, hunting, fishing, cooking and taking care of his garden, especially his orchids, and loved to educate anyone who inquired. After retirement he enjoyed oil painting and watercolors. Many have been the happy recipient of a card with his art work.

Betty enjoyed cooking, crafts, sewing, knitting and needlework, of which many now enjoy her work as an heirloom.

They both enjoyed travelling the U.S and the world.

After seven decades together, it seemed impossible for Lee and Betty to think of being apart; no one else could imagine it either.

In the days after Lee died, Betty declined quickly, and died at home from age-related frailties. Their loved ones are grieved by their deaths, but no one would have wanted them apart from each other, in this life or the next.

They are survived by three children: James D. (Joleen), William L. (Dana), and Patricia L. (Frank) Delgado; and by eight grandchildren: Shawna Jo, Melissa, Dennis Lee Jr., Anne Marie, Cory, Christen, Ryan, Emily; four great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, James, Phoebe and Tessa. Their son Dennis L. proceeded them in death in 1995.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m. at Crystal Cathedral Memorial Gardens, 12141 S. Lewis St., Garden Grove.