Richard Zimmer (1958 - 2015)

Obituary
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Rick Zimmer of Anchorage, Alaska, died on March 20, 2015, from complications stemming from a bone marrow disorder. Rick was an exuberant man who felt most alive in the outdoors. He was funny, fun-loving, upbeat, adventurous and often delightfully oblivious to his personal appearance. When he wasn't joking around, Rick was caring and nonjudgmental. He could be unpredictably and generously thoughtful. Rick's eclectic interests ranged from barbershop quartet to beekeeping. He enjoyed cooking (his family winces at memories of salmon muffins), socializing (he hosted many exchange students), moving around (he unicycled, paraglided and danced the Lindy) and reading. Rick built two fine wooden boats. His door was always open to unannounced visitors, who would be offered whatever was on the stove and then be invited along to bike, ski or walk. Rick combined a strong work ethic with liveliness and a sense of fun. On a vacation day he might hammer shingles, skim around a lake in his beat-up catamaran and stir up a pot of homemade soup. Rick's successful career as a commercial pilot was punctuated by goofy antics such as a runway approach over his brother's house, circling the peak of Denali on a sunny day and pulling black socks over his white sneakers when he forgot to pack his uniform shoes. Rick typically squeezed his mandolin or his folding bike into the cockpit storage. He was always happy to give kids a tour of the cockpit. Rick was born in Boston, Mass., in 1958. After completing a bachelor's degree in economics, he undertook U.S.Navy pilot training and ultimately piloted for Alaska Airlines. Rick was a big man, not only in stature, but also in spirit. Beyond all else, Rick loved his children, Kaylin and Noah; his wife, Teresa; his parents; siblings; and nieces and nephews. A celebration of life is planned for Sunday, May 24, 2015, at 2 p.m., at Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Apr. 7, 2015