Derrick Michael Ziegenbein, age 30, of Appleton passed away unexpectedly at home on Monday, December 20, 2021 of natural causes.
Derrick was born on September 11, 1991 to Michael Ziegenbein and Bridget (Daniels) Villarreal.
Derrick struggled with Autism but despite his disability he found the courage to do great things in his life and follow his dreams. Derrick was a musical genius and played many instruments, although his favorite was the accordion. He learned to play solely by "ear" and also learned how to read music. Derrick Played with his polka band on the 4th of July every year at Jefferson Park in Menasha. He was real charismatic and enjoyed performing on stage and seeing the happiness his music brought to people at Polka Days in Pulaski. Derrick's inspiration and love for polka music started with grandma and grandpa Ziegenbein. His favorite polka band leaders were Verne Meisner and Steve Meisner and he followed their style of music. Jammin at American Legion jam sessions in Winneconne, and Appleton were regularly attended and he met a diverse set of musicians. He was a member of the Northeast Wisconsin Accordion Club which he enjoyed performing every year for the members. He loved making special guest performances with other polka bands in the area. He received the Youth Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Polka Hall of Fame. Derrick played a variety of music and also studio recorded his own CD.
Derrick loved German Shepherds and absolutely adored his dog, Buddy a lab mix that just wandered into the yard needing a home and a friend. Buddy was a always there whenever he needed a friend. Even after his dog died, he still talked about him for years and would bring up memories. Derrick enjoyed attending the annual Mit Liebe Dog Rescue Expo in Depere where he played music and got a chance to be around the animals that he loved.
Derrick really loved his family and spending time telling jokes and laughing about old times. He loved impromptu gatherings that would turn into watching favorite movies, or funny videos, and playing music with siblings and his children. Derrick had a big heart and would give everything he had to help whomever needed help. He was an active member of Pentecostals of the Fox Cities Church. Derrick loved his church family.
Derrick is survived by his two children: Jace Peters and Gracie Bach; mother, Bridget Villarreal; father, Michael (Melanie Richardson) Ziegenbein; brother, Nathan Ziegenbein; sister, Haley Ziegenbein; half-brother: Tito Jr. Villarreal; half-sister, Samantha Villarreal; maternal grandmother: Bonnie (Tom Heiden) Daniels; paternal grandparents: Alvin and Lenore Ziegenbein. He is further survived by a special uncle, Alan Ziegenbein and uncles: Robert (Margie) Ziegenbein and Brian Daniels. Niece: Aviana Headley. Cousin: Marc and Leah Ziegenbein.
He was preceded in death by great-grandmother, Ione Noack; great-aunt, Karla Noack Mastey; his best pal, Buddy.
Visitation will take place at Pentecostals of the Fox Cities, 1445 Midway Rd, Menasha, WI on Thursday, December 30, 2021 from 9:00 am until the funeral service at 11:00 am with Pastor Daniel Sharp officiating. Derrick's family would like to thank The Pentecostals of the Fox Cities for their prayers
The family would appreciate memorials in Derrick's memory in lieu of flowers.
Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, Seymour, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be expressed to Derrick's family at www.muehlboettcher.com