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James J. Zimmer

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James J. Zimmer Obituary
Zimmer, James J.

If you are reading this it is because I am on a "New Journey". I was born in Marshfield on March 18, 1943, and moved to Green Bay with my parents, Roger and Lucille Zimmer, in 1950. We lived on the corner of Mather and Park Street for the next 15 years. These years included a paper route, Annunciation School, West High School, and work at the first McDonalds in Green Bay.

My later education included receiving a Bachelor of Zoology Degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I continued my education by attending the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, where I received a teaching certification and a second Bachelor Degree in Science. I taught for two years at Denmark High School and was then hired by the Ashwaubenon School District, where I taught for the next 32 years. After teaching in my field for three years I qualified for a National Science Foundation Grant, which allowed me to complete my Masters of Science in Teaching and, thereafter, I attended lifelong continuing education classes at UWGB.

During those years of teaching, my wife Mary and I started J&M Photo, which afforded us the privilege of working with and knowing countless brides and grooms, high school graduates, families, and Green Bay Packers, through which we formed great friendships along the way. Another very satisfying part of my life was volunteering at Pioneer Credit Union as Chairman of the Board, helping support the financial security of the members. When I began volunteering our asset size was under one million dollars; it has since grown to one billion.

It was also my privilege to be a member of the Ashwaubenon Water Committee and be a part of the decision as to where our community would obtain our water. This led to a position as a Green Bay Water Commissioner.

My family and I have been members of Nativity Parish since before the church was built, a time when the parish community celebrated Mass in the bleachers of the Brown County Veterans Arena.

For 35 years our family's safe haven has been our summer home on Rost Lake, where I have been involved with the Rost Lake Association. The Zimmer family loved to travel together. Summer trips brought the family to most mainland states. In later years there were several trips to Hawaii and a multitude of cruises. Another irreplaceable 38-year family adventure was parking cars in my sister and her husband's acreage next to the Packer Stadium.

My family was together to celebrate the beginning of my "New Journey" on Sunday morning, July 14, 2013. Family members include my supportive wife, Mary (Decker) Zimmer, our daughter Patti (husband Mike) Havlicek, husband and their two sons, Ben(18) and Jack(14); our son Steven (his wife, Becky) Zimmer and their two children, Emily(13) and Charlie(9); my sister Mary (husband, Don)Terrien; their daughters, Holly, Natalie, and LuAnn; brothers-in-law, Jim (Lydia) Decker, David(Sally) Decker, Dick(Connie) Decker, Bob(Kathy)Decker, and many nieces and nephews. My parents, an infant grandson, Zachory Zimmer, and my father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ervin and Genevieve Decker, preceded me in death.

In 2009, I began the fight with leukemia and won back four years of my life. The fight was well worth the effort. That wonderful time allowed me to know my destiny, a somewhat unique gift that allowed me to create great life experiences with my family.

Friends are invited to join my family at Nativity of Our Lord Church, 2270 S. Oneida St., Green Bay, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Wednesday. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, Fr. James Hablewitz presiding. Entombment will take place in Fort Howard Mausoleum.

With the deepest and most sincere gratitude I would like to give a special thank you to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic at Aurora Baycare Medical Center for making my visits almost like seeing family, and especially Dr. Dhimant Patel and his associates. In addition, a big thanks to IV Therapy for the life-saving blood I received, and to Aurora Baycare Hospice and the 1st Floor staff at the hospital for their care and concern. Fr. Jim Hablewitz, you made my day by being a friend and sending me off in the right direction. And, I would like to thank Pam Janssen at Marnocha Funeral Home for helping me and my family with my funeral services.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.

Online Condolences may be expressed at


Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on July 15, 2013
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