James M. Zimmerman, 55, outdoorsman, camp pres.

By on May 22, 2013

James "Zimmy" M. Zimmerman, 55, of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, died unexpectedly Sunday, May 12, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.

He was born in Paradise Township, and was the son of the late Hershey Kurtz Zimmerman, Jr. and Ruth Erma Witmer Zimmerman.

He attended Pequea Valley High School, graduating in 1977. While in high school, he participated in wrestling. He also played softball for several years with the VFW.

After high school, he worked at Budd Company, Trojan Yacht and had just celebrated his 20-year anniversary working for Brubacher Excavating.

Zimmy’s true passion in life was being in the mountains and he inspired a generation of young hunters and outdoorsmen. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and was president of the Zimmerman Hunting Camp in Tioga, with bear season being his favorite time of the year.

Although he loved the mountains, nothing brought him more happiness than being with his family and lifelong friends. He lived for spending as much time with his sons as he could and was actively involved in their wrestling and football programs while they attended high school. More recently, his role as Pop Pop to his grandson, Landon, brought him immeasurable joy.

He always put others first and would do anything in his power to create amazing memories from the simplest of times. He knew the value of family and made it a priority, not just in words, but in the way he lived his life. While he was a strong man, he was generous with his affection and never hesitated to express his love with hugs and kisses and "I love yous." His compassion and caring for others extended beyond his death as he will help many others through his decision to be an organ donor.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his niece, Ashley Nicole Smith.

He will be lovingly missed by his two sons: James M. Zimmerman, fiancé of Victoria Rae Martin; and Zachary P. Zimmerman; and his grandson: Landon Isaiah Zimmerman. He is also survived by his brother: Hershey and Jeanette Zimmerman, III, Lancaster; sister: Pauline and Thomas Caldwell, Quarryville; sister: Judy Wiley and Kirk Groff, Peach Bottom; brother: John Zimmerman, Ephrata; sister: Anna Ruth and Terry Hartman, Denver, N.C.; sister: Beth and Don Smith, Willow Street; 11 nieces and nephews and 11 great-nieces and nephews, who will all miss him dearly.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held June 16 at The Roland Park in Akron at noon.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the Ephrata Elementary Wrestling Program, c/o Ephrata Recreation Center, 130 S. Academy Dr., Ephrata, PA 17522. Online condolences may be posted at groffeckenroth.com. The Groff-High Funeral Home, New Holland is assisting the family.

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