Robert Eugene Zimmerman
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GIBSONBURG: Robert Eugene Zimmerman, 80 of rural Gibsonburg, passed away on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in the home that he built and lived in for the past 56 years.
Robert was born on August 5, 1931 near Woodside, OH to Dale S. and Lillian (Strausbaugh) Zimmerman. Robert was a 1949 graduate of Gibsonburg High School and attended The Ohio State University. On September 10, 1955 he married Billie Baker at Trinity United Methodist Church, Gibsonburg. They spent the next few years finishing their home and racing go-karts at area tracks where they both won many races and track championships with engines that Robert built up himself. After "the kids" were born, as he was fond of saying, they decided to raise horses and slowly phased out of Kart racing. When "the kids" were old enough, nearly every summer weekend was spent at horse shows or camping with his family.
Robert attended college at The Ohio State University for a short time then, his father-in-law, Orlo Baker, helped him get a job at Pfizer Lime plant in Gibsonburg, where he spent the next 29 years, starting out as a boiler operator where he obtained a 3rd class stationary steam operators license. When Pfizer eliminated their coal fired boilers, Robert transferred into the maintenance department, where he eventually became a Journeyman Electrician. While working in the Maint. Dept. Robert designed a flue gas analyzer system that was adapted at other Pfizer plants throughout the county. When Pfizer shut down in 1980 Robert then worked at G W Sugar in Fremont for a short time then went to work at Fremont Memorial Hospital in the maintenance dept. where he operated the boilers and worked on electrical systems until he retired in 1995. Robert then spent several years working with his brother "Pete" Zimmerman, designing, building and maintaining highway paint striping equipment. After "the kids" were grown and the horses were gone, Robert converted the barn into a woodworking shop where he designed and built all of the wood furniture in their house, jewelry boxes, clocks, desks and hundreds of other items made of wood, including the back yard swing where he spent much of his later years.
Robert is survived by his wife of 57 years, Billie Zimmerman; son, Jeff (Deb) Zimmerman of Gibsonburg, daughters, Lisa (Jeff) Smith of St. Joe, MI and Lori (Rick) Carver of Gibsonburg; brother, Pete Zimmerman of Fremont; sister, Betty (Francis) Fairbanks of Gibsonburg; eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Donald (Bev) Zimmerman; and a sister, Florence (Paul) Henry; and an infant brother, Jackie.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 4-8 p.m. at the Herman-Kinn-Karlovetz Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fremont. Services will be held on Friday, May 11, 2012 at the funeral home at 11 AM with Pastor Fritz Merkes officiating. Internment will be at a later date at Quinshan Cemetery, Gibsonburg.
Memorials may be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church or Hospice of Memorial Hospital in Robert's memory.
To send online condolences or to view Robert's In Memory Video Tribute, please visit: www.hermankinn.com
Published in the News-Messenger on May 10, 2012