Hugh J. Zimmer
1930 - 2019
6800 Troost Avenue
Kansas City, MO
Hugh J. Zimmer 1930 - 2019 Hugh Joseph Zimmer entered into much deserved rest on February 1, 2019 after a brief illness he courageously battled with optimism and determination typical of his character and life. Hugh was born to Helen and Al Zimmer in 1930 and grew up in Kansas City. Hugh attended Prairie Grade School, Southwest High School, the University of Missouri and holds a degree in finance and real estate from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. While at the University of Pennsylvania, he was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, honorary business scholastic fraternity. At Mizzou, Hugh was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was recognized as Beta Man of the Year in 1987 and is on the wall of fame in Columbia. Hugh entered the commercial real estate business in 1953 and was a leader in the industry locally, regionally and nationally for more than 65 years. In 2015, Mr. Zimmer retired as chairman of Zimmer Companies, Inc., a group of interrelated real estate firms that includes Zimmer Development Company, Zimmer Management Company and Newmark Grubb Zimmer as well as numerous project development and investment entities. A leading developer in the region for over 45 years, Hugh was responsible for the development of over 2,900 acres of business parks and over 30 million square feet of commercial buildings throughout Kansas City as well as major markets across the country. During this time, he also developed investment properties in St. Louis, Louisville, Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. Hugh was extremely active in promoting the overall growth of both Kansas and Missouri and has played an important role in many of the area's economic development organizations. He has chaired the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Kansas City and The Hawthorn Foundation of Missouri. He has served on the boards of directors and executive committees of the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Platte County Economic Development Council and the Lenexa Economic Development Council. In 1998, the governing body of Lenexa, Kansas, made Mr. Zimmer an honorary citizen of that city in recognition of his contributions to the area's growth and development. He also served for many years as an advisory director of Commerce Bank of Kansas City and as a trustee of Midwest Research Institute. He held prominent positions in several national and international real estate organizations. These include the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), where he served as national president in 1979 and 1980. In 2010, the Kansas City chapter of the Urban Land Institute presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Zimmer in recognition of his ongoing contributions to the built environment in the Kansas City region. Hugh was an eminent member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), one of the oldest and most prestigious real property organizations in the world, headquartered in London, England. Eminent membership comprises less than 1% of the RICS membership and represents the highest ranks of the property profession. In 2010, Hugh, a former chairman of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Trustees and Chancellor's Institute for Urban Education National Advisory Board, received the University's Chancellor's Medal in recognition of his contributions. This award is the highest non-academic award bestowed upon an individual by the University. He formerly served as a director of the UMKC Foundation for Higher Education. In 2014, the UMKC Trustees recognized him as the first recipient to follow Henry W. Bloch in receiving the Henry W. Bloch Trustee Excellence Award for his significant contributions and service to UMKC and the UMKC Trustees. Outside of his professional career, Hugh was an avid fisherman and world traveler. His family together enjoyed countless trips he would plan in detail exposing them to beautiful beaches, historical monuments, rivers, cities and other culturally diverse destinations. Over the years, he and his family enjoyed their vacation homes in Hilton Head, Santa Fe, Sea Island and most especially Wismo. Hugh had a wonderful sense of humor and was generous beyond belief. He mentored and educated countless young people in whom he believed. Hugh leaves his beloved wife Eulalie to whom he was married for 62 years; two children, David Zimmer (Diane) and Ellen Darling (Bert); and 4 adored grandchildren, Lauren Noel, Katie Zimmer, Emily Darling, and Curran Darling as well as his brother A. W. Zimmer, III of Kansas City. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 11:00 a.m., at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 6401 Wornall Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64113. In lieu of flowers the family asks that all gifts in memory of Mr. Zimmer be directed to the Trustees Scholar program at UMKC. Contributions should be directed to: Hugh J. Zimmer Memorial, c/o UMKC Foundation, 5115 Oak Street, Adm. Center Room 202, Kansas City, MO 64112 or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Published by Kansas City Star on Feb. 3, 2019.
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Celebration of Life
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
6401 Wornall Terrace, Kansas City, MO
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14 Entries
To the Zimmer Family,

I worked on a temporary basis at NGZ covering the front desk, last summer (2018). I had the opportunity to visit with Hugh one day. He was an amazing conversationalist and, thereafter, I looked forward to visiting briefly with him when he called in.

I know Hugh is missed by all of you and by many others he touched. May every good memory bring you peace and comfort.
lynne bryson
February 8, 2019
Eulalie, Ellen and David,

Cathy and I send our heartfelt sympathy.

I could never adequately express how much Hugh meant to me and my family. He had more impact on my career than anyone else. Whatever success I have had would never have happened were it not for Hugh Zimmer. I can say with confidence he was my one and only true mentor.

What I learned from Hugh professionally was very important but the most important lessons I learned from being around him were about character. I was privileged to have been Hugh's business partner in Atlanta for 15 years and I learned so much by example while working with him. Like everyone in real estate, we had great success and a few struggles but every time I went to him with a problem he was never alarmed. In fact he seemed to always be able to cite a similar example from his previous experience and offer a solution which made everything OK.

Hugh was a brilliant real estate professional, a great leader, a great friend and one of the greatest men I have ever known.
Bob Peterson
February 8, 2019
To Ellen, David and Eulalie,
I was honored to have met Mr. Zimmer in 2007 and to receive such great wisdom and business insight from that time forward. Much of my learning and experience in real estate development I owe to Mr. Zimmer. My first contracts came through working directly with Mr. Zimmer and Troy Nash. I am grateful for Mr. Zimmer's calculated risk of investing in me and allowing me to serve with him. We honor his great legacy of courage, integrity, innovation, and inclusion. The National Black Economic Development Institute salutes our Kansas City Champion, Mr. Hugh J. Zimmer.
Marvin Lyman
February 6, 2019
Mr Zimmer. Thank you! Thank you for what you instilled in my friend Troy Nash.

Please say hello to my father James Yancy. Hes in heaven with you, Im sure!

Rest well. God bless your spirit.
Kennetn Yancy
February 6, 2019
Eulalie, Ellen, & David,
I was tremendously blessed to meet Hugh when I interviewed for the UMKC School of Education Dean position in Spring of 2009 and enjoyed the pleasure of working and partnering with Hugh for the next five years that I served at UMKC. Hugh wasn't just a volunteer, philanthropist and supporter, he was a mentor and friend. His passion for education was literally infectious and UMKC, Kansas City, and education is better for having had Hugh as a champion. Thank you for sharing Hugh with all of us. I am sorry for your great loss but heaven now has a champion. Rest in peace, my friend.
Dr. Wanda J. Blanchett
February 5, 2019
Deborah Riley Riggs
February 4, 2019
I was most fortunate to meet Hugh and his family through work and he was such a thoughtful person. Ellen and David and all of your family, I am sorry to see he passed. He was a wonderful man.
Kathleen Burke
February 4, 2019
To David, Ellen, and of course Eulalie, please accept our heartfelt sympathy on the loss of Hugh. He was one of the greatest real estate minds to ever touch the fabric of Kansas city and will be forever remembered for his hard work and dedication to the real estate industry and to our community. Ken and Lisa Block and our entire Block Real Estate Services organization.
kenneth block
February 4, 2019
I was sad to read about Hugh's passing. One of my favorite people from my many years of working at Lenexa City Hall as City Clerk. I can still hear his booming voice. I was always in awe of his vision for business parks, and city planning in general. Fond memories for sure and he definitely helped make Lenexa what it is today. A huge void in the Zimmer family for sure. My deepest condolences to the family. Thank you for sharing him with the greater KC area. Sandy Howell
Sandy Howell
February 3, 2019

We shall always be greatful to Hugh for his coaching and support in the formation of the Kansas City Area Development Council. Metro KC was the beneficiary of his commitment and outstanding leadership. His love affair with the area was genuine. He was a super person.
Dorothy and I extend our deepest sympathy to Eulalie and family.
Jim Monroe
February 2, 2019
Katherine Chiles
February 2, 2019
Eulalie, Ellen and David: I am privileged to have had access to Hugh's wisdom and generosity of spirit. I continue to hold him as a model for integrity, authenticity, and friendship. I know God will continue to bless all of you.
Martha Gilliland
February 2, 2019
David and Ellen so sorry for your lost it was an honor to have known your dad he was a fair and honorable man.He will be missed.
Rick Orrick
February 2, 2019
Eulalie, Ellen, David and the Zimmer family, I am so thankful to have known, and been influenced by Hugh. May God bless and comfort you all.
Jeff Riggs
February 2, 2019
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