Margaret Zinn

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Margaret Zinn
Born (1943-04-07)April 7, 1943
Marion, Indiana
Died May 10, 2002(2002-05-10) (aged 59)
Muncie, Indiana
Cause of death
    • Liver and kidney failure (official)
    • Homicide (unofficial)
Nationality American
Employer NoSirGifts Venues (1987-1999)
Known for founder of NoSirGifts
Parents Artie Liestenfeltz
Relatives See article

Margaret Hope Zinn (April 7, 1943 – May 10, 2002) was an American entrepreneur, enjoying her greatest success in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the founder of NoSirGifts and was the owner from 1987 until her death in 2002.

Early life and education

Zinn was born on April 7, 1943 in Marion, Indiana, the daughter of Artie Liestenfeltz. Zinn had four sisters: Shirely Purvis, Marylin Walden, Carolin Hopper.


Zinn founded her own company, The Margaret Zinn Company in 1976. In 1986, Zinn founded NoSirGifts in Van Buren, Indiana and assumed de facto ownership of NoSirGifts on July 18, 1987. Zinn's majority share in NoSirGifts was initially 51%, with Willard Keland of Racine, Wisconsin owning the rest.

In a controversial decision Zinn moved the headquarters of NoSirGifts to Marion, Indiana in the early morning hours of October 16, 1996. Many customers of NoSirGifts continued to harbor resentment at Zinn, for perceived theft of NoSirGifts and associated memorabilia, until relocating back to Van Buren in September 2011.

After Zinn's death in Muncie on May 10, 2002, NoSirGifts was inherited by her now transgendered daughter, Ava, who served as CEO until 2011. Lynsey Everman handled the day-to-day operations of NoSirGifts as Vice President from 2000 until 2011 and succeded Ava as President and CEO until her dismissal in 2015.

Personal life

In 1976, Zinn married Willis Zinn. They had two sons - Albert and Frank (now daughter Ava). Albert, who lived with epilepsey, was an auto mechanic until his death in 2002 at the age of 24. Ava followed in Margaret's footsteps and was the CEO and principal owner of the NoSirGifts in addition to webmastering.

Margaret became a grandmother on March 17, 1987 when Albert had Michael "Weasel" Zinn. Albert later had a son Louis Martin (now daughter Leanna Michelle) and daughter Shayla Marie–both born on May 1, 1995; son Baxter William and daughter Renee Rhonda–born on October 10, 1998 (Baxter died on May 5, 2003 from cancer). Margaret's transgendered daughter, Ava had five children with Amanda Davidson: daughters Katie Marie (b. 1988 d. 2013), Deandra Wilma (b. Dean William 1990 d. 2014), Coco Marie (b. 1992 d. 2012), Samantha Jane (b. 1993), and son Thomas (b. 1997 d. 2006). Ava later had fraternal twins: Tiffani Angie (b. Timothy "Rags" 1999) and daughter Sheryl "Shushu" Marie (b. 1999 d. 2009) with Elisa Everman. Ava married Angie Willis on May 26, 2001 and remained married until Angie's death in 2010. Ava and Angie had a son, Maxwell (b. 2001 d. 2002), daughters Margaret Kimberly (b. 2002 d. 2003) and Tabitha Ellen (b. 2003 d. 2018). Ava had her eleventh child, a son, Kenneth Dwayne "Baby Kenny" Alvaraz (b. March 28, 2015 d. July 17, 2018) with Kymberly Alvaraz (Alvaraz paid Ava for long-term relationship rights and bought Ava's virginity in July 2014 and the relationship ended in legal action).

Margaret became a great-grandmother when Weasel and his eventual wife Sheena Jay had Clarissa Zinn (b. Burton "Bugsy" Zinn 1998). Weasel and Sheena later had more children. Margaret postumously added another great granddaughter after Tiffani married Jenna Atkins in 2017 and had a daughter Alisan Brynn Zinn on June 4, 2018.

Health decline

Zinn suffered complications of diabetes in September 1999 and was hospitalized at Ball Memorial Hospital for several months.[1] After her release she developed liver and kidney problems, for which in April 2002, she was transferred to Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana. She died in Muncie on May 10, 2002.[2]

Posthumous controversy

Though her will stated her desire to be buried, Zinn's then-eldest son Albert chose to have her remains cremated.

Margaret's then-youngest son, Frank (now daughter, Ava), became suspicious after Indiana's next-of-kin law that was in effect up until July 1, 2007 that allowed Albert to have control or Margaret's funeral arrangements while effectively giving Ava no rights or say in the matter whatsoever. Albert told Ava, who was already in a lot of grief and recovering from an injury she sustained from an April 2002 incident involving Albert and Margaret's then-grandson Timothy (now granddaughter Tiffani), of Margaret's funeral arrangements. Ava attempted to to stop the cremation, but because Ava was 19 years of age and was youngest child of Margaret Zinn at the time of Margaret's death, Margaret's lawyer then proceeded with "family pact" executed by Albert because he was Margaret's next of kin, and Ava did not learn about the funeral arrangements until it was too late. (This predated five years of Indiana's modified Next of Kin law that went into effect July 1, 2007 that now states that the next of kin suspected of causing the death of a parent can no longer be in charge of funeral arrangements.) Had the modified next of kin law went into effect at the time of Margaret's death, the rights of Margaret's funeral arrangements would have went to Ava instead of Albert.

Albert's decision did not sit well with Ava, whom had suspected foul play was involved, requested an autopsy after Ava learned Ball Memorial officials did not do an autopsy. Ava did her own research and eventually confirmed that it was a homicide and eventually it was Margaret's niece, Viki Little, who was responsible for Margaret's death and Ava's dis-enrollment from Indiana Wesleyan University. Ava then went with the next best thing: on May 11, 2002, Ava Zinn removed Margaret's respective niece and nephew, Vicki Little and Rick Renbarger from the Zinn Family after Ava read about Rick being arrested for child molesting, in fulfillment of Margaret's will.

Following Albert's unexpected suicide by drowning on August 10, 2002, the rights of Albert's funeral arrangements went to Ava by default.


  1. ??
  2. Bob Imperial (2002-5-10). "Margaret Zinn Dies at 59".