LACONIA - Captain Henry W. Zimmer died peacefully in his home in Laconia, Sunday, March 31, 2013. He was 75 years old.
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Bill was a man of the sea. He grew up on the New Jersey shore in Wildwood Crest and Pleasantville. In his youth, he fell in love with the water and with boats. He fixed boats; he sailed boats; he crewed boats.
After graduating from Pleasantville High School, Bill enlisted in the US Coast Guard where he was navigator on a vessel in New York Harbor and quarter master on a weather vessel that served the icy waters near Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. After the Coast Guard, Bill enrolled at the New York State Maritime Academy where he graduated as regimental commander in 1963 and was commissioned in the US Naval Reserve.
During this time, he courted Hazel Young. They were engaged on the day she was named May Queen at her college and they were married September 21, 1963. They spent the early years of their marriage in Staten Island, N.Y. where their first son Hank was born. They later moved to Towson, Md. where twins Dawn and Tim were born. In 1973, the family moved to Laconia.
Bill worked primarily for Texaco. He first worked on ships and later on tug and barge units that moved oil up and down the East Coast as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. He used to say that the best part of the job was "towing at sea." He was an effective captain, keeping order and earning the respect of his crew. After nearly 30 years at Texaco, Bill retired in 1993.
Bill was a member of the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club for 30 years, where he made many friends and kept a sailboat. He loved being at the club, socializing with friends as well as helping to keep the club running. Bill loved the peace and quiet and the natural beauty of the Lakes Region and was proud to raise his family there. He never felt so at home as when he was in the state of New Hampshire.
He is survived by loving wife Hazel of 49 years; sister Pat of Shasta City, Calif.; son Henry, daughter-in-law Tina and grandson Dylan of Saugus, Mass.; daughter Dawn, son-in-law Stan and grandsons Jake and Alex of Hoboken, N.J.; son Tim, daughter-in-law Sydney and grandchildren Matthew and Meredith of Swampscott, Mass.; and a long list of other family and friends.
A commitment ceremony will be held Thursday, April 11th, at 2:30 p.m., at the NH State Veteran Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Highway in Boscawen.
A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, April 11th, at 5:30 p.m., at the Belknap Mill, 25 Beacon Street, Laconia. Service begins at 6 p.m.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Bill's honor to the following organizations: NH State Veteran Cemetery Association, PO Box 626, Concord, NH 03302-0626 www.nhsvc.com or Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice, 780 N Main Street, Laconia, NH 03246 www.cnhvnah.org.
The Cremation Society of New Hampshire, Boscawen office, is assisting the family with arrangements. To view an online memorial or leave a message of condolence please go to www.csnh.com
Published in The Concord Monitor on Apr. 3, 2013