1ST. LT. JASON TIMMERMAN
BY DAVID HAWLEY
1ST. LT. JASON TIMMERMAN
leaves hole in
middle of small
COTTONWOOD, Minn. — Jason Timmerman was as an "all-American kid" who had enough confidence in high school to date the superintendent's daughter.
A farm kid, Timmerman was part of the large, close-knit Belgian farming community in southwest Minnesota. The news of his death, one of three Minnesotans killed in Iraq on Monday, has hit the village where he grew up hard.
"We are a small rural community," said the Rev. Paul Hadusek, the priest at the family's Belgian Catholic Church, St. Clotilde's in nearby Green Valley. "Jason was known, liked and admired by so many. It is a great tragedy."
On Tuesday, the rural lane leading to the farm of his parents, Gary and Pat Timmerman, carried a steady procession of cars as dozens of relatives and friends paid their respects. A flag in the windswept yard flew at half-staff in front of a small display that included an antique plow and a sign that read, "Support Our Troops."
Timmerman's younger brother, Travis, also is a member of the 151st Field Artillery in Iraq. Travis Timmerman was not with his brother when the bombing took place on Monday. Relatives said Travis Timmerman was expected to arrive home this week.
An older brother, Craig Timmerman, is studying for the priesthood in Rome, and flew home from Italy on Tuesday, Hadusek said.
Jason Timmerman, 24, joined the National Guard in 1997, the year before he graduated from high school, said Palmer Anderson, former superintendent of schools in Cottonwood, a town of about 1,000 residents near Marshall in southwest Minnesota.
"He was an exemplary type of student," Anderson said. He was very involved in school activities, including the Future Farmers of America and varsity football, where he was a lineman.
"He was part of a class of students who prided themselves in knowledge and clean competition," Anderson said. "It was an impressive class."
Timmerman used his military pay with the Guard to help finance college studies at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D., where he received a master's degree in computer and education technology in 2004.
In his online college profile, Timmerman talked about doing community service projects as a student that included working on Habit for Humanity homes in the Twin Cities and serving meals at Loaves and Fishes.
"The majority of the people there were just like anyone else, except they had one misfortune that knocked them off their feet," he wrote.
While working on his graduate degree, Timmerman taught math at a middle school in Madison and later was a math teacher at Lake Benton High School near Pipestone, Minn.
Less than a year ago, he married Theresa Hildebrand, and the two settled in Tracy, a community southeast of Marshall, where Theresa taught high school math.
Timmerman was hired by Northstar Mutual Insurance Co. in Cottonwood, northeast of Marshall, to work as a computer technician.
His parents spent Monday night with their daughter-in-law after learning about Jason Timmerman's death, the Rev. Hadusek said. Her parents drove through the night from their Canadian home and arrived early Tuesday to be with their daughter, Hadusek said. Dozens of relatives of the Timmerman family live in the Marshall area.
Jason Timmerman's younger brother Travis also is a member of the 151st Field Artillery in Iraq. Travis Timmerman was not with his brother when the bombing took place on Monday.
Published in Pioneer Press on Feb. 23, 2005.