Robert Gene Zimmerman

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Robert Gene Zimmerman, Lt. Colonel, United States Air Force (Ret.), of Valparaiso, died Wednesday, January 16, 2013 after a brief illness. He was 83. Bob was born in Valparaiso on October 9, 1929, the son of the late Englebert and Frances Zimmerman. He graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1947 and enrolled at Valparaiso University in 1948. After two years at VU, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served in the Korean War with the 19th Bomb Group, flying combat missions as the navigator of a B-29 bomber crew. After four years of service, Bob entered the VU School of Law in 1955, receiving a Juris Doctor degree in 1958. Bob was recalled to the Air Force in 1959. He served in the Strategic Air Command until 1967, when he volunteered for service in the Vietnam War. As a member of the 609th Air Commando Squadron, he flew 161 combat missions and was awarded the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action. He also was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters. After returning from Southeast Asia, Bob served in the Air Force Flight Test Program and as chief of the Air Force's Oral History Program. During his Air Force career, Bob flew more than 200 combat missions and logged more than 6,000 hours of flight time. He retired in 1975. After his retirement, Bob resided in Valparaiso and Pensacola, FL. In Valparaiso, he was a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks Lodge 500, American Legion Post 94 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 988. Bob was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Military Court of Appeals. In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his brother, Alan J. Zimmerman. Bob is survived by his wife, Helen "Dutch" (Miller) Zimmerman of Valparaiso; two sons: Jeffry Steven Zimmerman of Chesterton and Martin Jon Zimmerman of Valparaiso; his sister, Carol Griffin of Geneva, IL; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. A funeral service will be held Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Road, Valparaiso with Rev. Mark Miller officiating. Cremation to follow. Visitation Saturday from 3:00-7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials to Heritage Lutheran Church or the Porter County Humane Society.

Funeral Home
Moeller Funeral Home
104 Roosevelt Road
Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-0535
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Published in The Times on Jan. 17, 2013
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