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Erika Zimmermann

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Erika L. Zimmermann 1927 - 2018

A fiercely independent, strong and courageous woman of 91 years, Erika passed away peacefully while enjoying the ocean view on April 23 at her home in Hermosa Beach, California. Born to Carl Heinrich and Johanna Schuettig, on the North Sea island of Föhr, where her parents had a fresh fish and produce market. She always wanted to be on the water. In Hamburg, while working as a telephone operator and dating Bill, Erika's Uncle, Jakob Bahnsen of Maquoketa, Iowa, offered sponsorship if she wanted to come to America. Having grown up in WWII Germany, life wasn't easy nor was there much opportunity for young people. At 25 years of age, after a five-year courtship, Erika and Bill married on Friday, September 13, 1952 in order to make the next sailing. In just over 1 year the young couple wed, sailed to America and had their first daughter, Karin. Settling in Iowa for nearly 10 years, Erika worked at the Maid-Rite in Clinton, Iowa before they moved to Maquoketa, where Bill worked for Clinton Engine, and they both became American Citizens before having their second daughter, Kathy. A visit to San Pedro prompted them to finally settle in the coastal hamlet of Hermosa Beach, California. There they raised their 2 daughters while becoming active in the South Bay German Club and real estate. Never shying away from hard work while ironing Bill's white shirts, Erika cleaned and sorted reclaimed lumber he brought home from Mattel Toys that they would use to remodel their 1910 bungalow. In 1984, she retired from the El Camino Junior College Library after 15 years and then traveled the world extensively, continuing on even after Bill passed away in 1995. She volunteered at LAX for 20 years and at Beach Cities Health District visiting homebound elderly. Erika attended classical concerts, Saturday at the Met screenings, movies, and exercise classes with her friend of 52 years, Astrid Grönwold. She loved the Hollywood Bowl, cruises, tours all over the world and several Willie Nelson concerts. In her later years Erika became active at her church where she enjoyed the camaraderie and support of her friends in the Bulletin and Builder's groups, especially that of her friends, Evon and John Gibson. A fan of good pastry, Erika would love it when her friend, Mark Mardahl would bring a pink box and some good coffee to share. Erika was predeceased by her husband, William (Bill) Zimmermann; daughter, Karin Zimmermann; her brother, Carlo (Ursula) Schuettig and parents of Hamburg, Germany. She is survived by her devoted daughter, Kate Zimmermann-Geismar (Gerald, deceased).
In lieu of flowers, donations to Erasing The Stigma @ DiDi Hirsch.org or The Death with Dignity National Center would be appreciated. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits
Published in Daily Breeze on May 4, 2018
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