Warren Zimmerman (Rochester, MN)

Posted 01-10-19

Warren Zimmerman, age 96, of Rochester, was born March 13, 1922 to Ina and Fred Zimmerman on a farm near Aredale, IA, and died Jan. 3, 2019 at the Charter House.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Scott, and a brother, Wayne and survived by his wife Helen, (nee Garlock), a daughter, Diane (David) Chase of Barnhart, MO, son Richard (Annette) of Tucson, AZ, and son Steven (Jackie) of Minnetonka, MN, 15 grandchildren, and 34 great grandchildren.

Warren attended a one room school through 8th grade and Aerdale High School, graduating in 1940. In high school he participated in baseball, plays, and ping-pong. He attended Luther College from 1940 until March 1943. Zim enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps and was called into active duty in August 1943. After Basic Training in Camp Wolters, TX, he was assigned overseas duty with the Army’s 45th Division at Salerno, Italy a few weeks after the invasion of Italy had begun. He served in an antitank unit until he was severely wounded at Anzio, Italy on Feb. 13, 1944. Upon returning to the U.S., he was sent to Schick Army Hospital in Clinton, IA and was honorably discharged in October 1944.

He entered Iowa State Teachers College in December and graduated in August 1945. His first teaching assignment was at Hudson, IA, where he taught in both Junior and Senior High School and coached boys’ baseball and basketball. Later, he served as Junior High School Principal in Eldora, IA, assisting the H.S. coach in both football and basketball. Zim was married to Helen Garlock in June 1950. Together, they raised one daughter and three sons. After receiving his M.A. degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1950, he became the principal of Hawthorne School and served in several other elementary schools in his 34-year career with the Rochester Public School District. In addition to his principal duties, Zim also served as Chair of Curriculum and Courses of Study for High School English, Elementary English, and Health. He was the first director of the Federal Title I program.

Zim was active in National, State, and local professional organizations being a Life Member of most of them and was also a member of Phi Delta Kappa. He was active in the YMCA. He helped raise funds for the building, served on the board of directors, the Family Y Foundation, was a member of the Y’s Men’s Club, the Indian Guides program, and participated in the racquet ball program for many years. Photography was among his many hobbies, which began with a red box camera he received at age 12. He continued this hobby into adulthood and even developed his own photographs in a home dark room. He was an avid gardener and often shared produce with neighbors. He enjoyed board and card games with his family and friends, his favorite being duplicate bridge. He enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. with his family and he also traveled to several foreign countries with his wife, Helen. During retirement, Zim volunteered extensively, twice receiving the Mayor’s Medal of Honor for volunteer work. He was a member of the Rochester Methodist Hospital Auxiliary for over 30 years. He particularly enjoyed 16 years of teaching at the Federal Medical Center and volunteering in the Rochester Public Schools. Zim was a member of Christ United Methodist Church. He served on many committees, taught Sunday school, and was the Chair of the Fund-Raising campaign. He will be remembered as a kind and generous friend and educator to many and for his faithful service to the Rochester community. 

The Memorial Service will be 11:00 am Saturday Jan. 26, 2019 at Christ United Methodist Church with Rev. Nancy Wheeler Handlon and Chaplain Rachel Hanson officiating. Private inurnment will be in Grandview Memorial Gardens. Friends may call from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Friday Jan. 25, 2019 at Mahn Family Funeral Home – Rochester Chapel, and one hour before the service at the church. A reception will be held at church following the service. 

In lieu of flowers, Zim would prefer contributions to Christ United Methodist Church, the Rochester Family Y, Luther College or Mayo Clinic Hospice. Friends may share a memory at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.

Courtesy of Mahn Family Funeral Home




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