Lowell D. “Zim” Zimmer
Madison – On October 18, 2012, L.D. Zimmer passed away at Agrace Hospice Care surrounded by his loving family. After 66 years together, Zim just didn’t want to be without his Suzie, the love of his life. So just two weeks after she passed away, he joined her in heaven.
Lowell Dumas Zimmer was born on January 2nd, 1920 in Marshfield, WI to George Zimmer and Ida Dumas-Zimmer. He was the fifth of seven sons born to George and Ida. Zim, as he like to be called, grew up in Marshfield, where he graduated from McKinley High School in 1938.
In 1942 he volunteered for military service and enlisted in the Air Force at Fr. Sheridan, IL. He was stationed in Savannah, GA until his deployment to England. During World War II he served as an accountant for the Air Force Medical Corps, but received battle stars for his participation in activities in England, Italy, Algeria and North Africa. Four of his brothers were also involved in WWII in various branches of the military. He was discharged as a Sargent from the military in September, 1945 and returned to Wisconsin where he utilized his GI bill benefits to complete his studies at the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Business and then attended graduate school for a time.
It was at the University of Wisconsin where he met his future wife, Suzanne Peters, on a bus that shuttled them back and forth from Madison to their families’ homes in Marshfield. After a short courtship, the couple married on October 2, 1946. They continued to live near Madison, where he and Suzanne were proud to tell of their early year’s together living in Badger Village while Zim finished school and where they started their family in 1947.
Shortly after the couple had their first of five children, they moved to Rockford, IL where Zim began his career in the grocery business, working as a store manager for Kroger’s Grocery Company. After a promotion to district manager, the family lived for several years in Beloit, WI until another promotion happily landed the family back in Madison, a city he loved and that became their permanent hometown. When Kroger’s left Wisconsin, Zim purchased one of their stores and started his own business, ZIM’s IGA in Monroe, WI, which he proudly operated until his retirement in 1995. One of his favorite times of year at Zim’s IGA was springtime when the plants came in. Zim spent hours each day making sure the plants were watered and interacting with his customers.
Zim and Suz loved people, entertaining, and happy-hours. Their cottages in Wisconsin and condo in Florida were some of Zim’s favorite places to go. He especially loved their second home in Ft. Myers Beach, FL which was a haven of joy and sunshine for him and Suz six months out of every year for over 30 years. There he enjoyed walking on the beach and meeting new people and sitting by the pool and chatting with the other snowbirds who spent their winters there. He and Suz established a second community of friends in Florida, many of whom they stayed in touch with even after they were unable to continue their annual stays there.Zim enjoyed talking to people and loved nothing more than a good discussion with anyone and everyone. He loved to be right, and usually was. He was a proud Badger fan who went to every Badger game for many years, until his health no longer permitted. He went to the 1994 Rose Bowl, and the Out Back Bowl in Tampa, where he was recognized for his 75th birthday. He was a good-hearted and generous man who treated family to many trips and who frequently allowed his children to “shop” at Zim’s IGA, especially during plant season.
Lowell is survived by his five children: Greg (Sue) of Verona, Kathy (Chuck) Zastrow of Madison, Mary Miller (Roger McNiel) of Middleton, Thomas (Judy) of Madison, and Michael (Mary Abalos) of Mt. Horeb; twelve grandchildren: Joe Miller, Katie (Luke) Black, Jay Sachtjen, Dan (Melissa) Zimmer, Bridgette (Gregg) White, Ryan Sachtjen (Jamie Miller), Nicholas (Leah) Zimmer, Harry, Gus & Sam Zimmer, and Lindsay & Delany Zimmer; eight great-grandchildren: Olivia, Reese & Clementine Miller, Caden Black, Josephine & Noah Zimmer, and Penelope & Hendrix White; a very special and devoted caregiver, Courtney Moore; his brothers Lloyd and Russell; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Suzanne; his parents and brothers and sisters-in-law: Harold (Gladys), Roger (Lucille), Robert (Ruth), George (Ruth), Jean Zimmer and Marjorie Zimmer.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Dr., Madison on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. with Monsignor Donn Heiar presiding. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. A visitation will be held at church on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of mass.
The family wishes to give a special thanks to Holly of St. Thomas Aquinas, for all of her visits and prayers, and to Agrace Hospice Care.
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