The Rev. John Richard Zimmerman

Jul 6, 2013

The Rev. John Richard Zimmerman, 73, passed away Friday, July 6, 2013, in McClaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petosky, Mich.

He was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and raised in Fremont. He graduated from Fremont Ross High School in 1958, Capital University in 1962, received a Master's of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 1966 and a Master's degree in Pastorial Care and Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary in 1977. 

He served three congregations, Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Lexington, Ky., from 1966-72, Zion Lutheran Church in Sandusky, 1972-78, and Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Westerville, Ohio, for 27 years until his retirement in 2005.

John was a musician who played in the high school band, sang in the Capital University Chapel Choir, directed bell choirs and sang in church choirs all his life. He was a former member of the Westerville Song Spinners and past president of the Westerville Area Ministerial Association. He loved to travel, swim and attend church potluck dinners. 

Following retirement, he and his wife spent winters on South Hutchinson Island in Jesen Beach, Fla., and summers in their home on Trout Lake in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. 

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Candi (Tollefson); daughters, Tamara (Tony) Murray of Bexley, Ohio, Deborah Zimmerman and Rebecca (James) Rollo, of Westerville; two precious grandsons, Carter John Anthony Murray and John Frederick Rollo; brothers, the Rev. Robert Zimmerman, of London, Ontario, the Rev. James (Paula) Zimmerman, of Rockbridge Baths, Va., and Stephen (Linda) Zimmerman, of East Lansing, Mich.; sister, Ruth Ann (Dennis) Brindley, of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; sister-in-law, Cynthia Zimmerman, of Hancock, Mich.; and many nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Kari Marie; parents, the Rev. E.E. and Ruth Zimmerman; brother, David Zimmerman; and sister-in-law, Kathleen Zimmerman. 

Friends may call 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 12, at Moreland Funeral Home, 55 E. Schrock Road, Westerville. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at Grace Lutheran Church, 100 E. Schrock Road, Westerville, with visitation 1 hour before the service. Pastor Merlyn Seitz will officiate. Interment will be at 11 a.m. Monday, July 15, at Trout Lake Cemetery, Trout Lake, Mich. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John Zimmerman Family Fund to be used for random acts of kindness in honor of his name, WARM (Westerville Area Resource Ministry), Capital University or Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, Ohio.