James Zimmerman

James W. Zimmerman Sr.

Tuesday, August 24th, 1948 - Saturday, May 30th, 2020
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James William Zimmerman, Sr., age 71, of Dowagiac, died peacefully early Saturday morning, May 30, 2020 in the comfort of his family’s presence.

He was born August 24, 1948 in Elkhart, Indiana, to Richard and Rosemary (Cox) Zimmerman, Sr. Jim was lovingly raised by his step-mother, Mary Jo Zimmerman. He married Judy D. Magner April 8, 1972 in Elkhart, Indiana. She called him her “Turtle Dove.” Judy remembers him as a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather who always stood by his family.

Jim was a proud patriot and loved his country. His top three priorities were God, country, and family. He honorably served in the US Army during Viet Nam. As a father, Jim taught his children much about life and family. They always knew that they should put their full effort into anything they did. He used to tell them, “You can do anything, you’re a Zimmerman.” It is the philosophy and mantra that his children and grandchildren continue to live by.

Jim was an avid camper and fisherman, and enjoyed anything he could do with his family. He had a quick wit and was full of jokes and stories. Jim’s favorite story was how he stole his best friend’s girl and married her.

James will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife of forty-eight years, Judy Zimmerman of Dowagiac; two sons, James W. (Teresa) Zimmerman II of Grand Rapids, Gary (Tiara) Zimmerman of Dowagiac; five wonderful grandchildren, Caleb Zimmerman, Lance Corporal Jadelyn Zimmerman USMC, Shawn Zimmerman, Annalise Zimmerman, Bryce Zimmerman; two sisters, Linda (Tom) Istenes, Christine Reynolds both of Elkhart; two brothers, Richard (Diane) Zimmerman, Jr. of Marion, Indiana, Steven (Debbie) Zimmerman of Elkhart; several nieces and nephews; and his dog, Dicki Joe. He was preceded in death by his parents, one daughter, Dawn Marie Zimmerman, and his faithful dog, Sir Lancelot.

The family will observe a private remembrance when he will accorded full Military Honors. Mr. Zimmerman’s remains will be laid to rest in South Wayne Cemetery in Dowagiac.

The family prefers contributions in memory of James be made to Disabled American Veterans, VARO McNamara Federal Building, 477 Michigan Avenue, Room 1200, Detroit, Michigan 48226.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online.
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Private Condolence

Just a nephew

Posted at 08:22pm
Uncle Jim was always fun. He always had a good joke and most of them my mom probably wouldn’t have liked when I was a kid. I liked them though. In a lot of families people can just live and never really know that they were loved. That wasn’t the case in this family. Everyone was open about how they loved and respected each other. It was really something I always admired. This is truly a great family to be in. It was an honor to know, love, and be loved by uncle Jim. Sitting next to him at gatherings was always exciting cause you never knew what he was going to say or to who. He always made you laugh. Even at funerals when you really weren’t supposed to. Lol. Happy trails uncle Jim. You left a big mark on this planet. Thank you for your time.

Hazel Cooper

Posted at 01:17pm
I was a care giver to Jim for three years. I always enjoyed his humor. He greeted me every day with hello kid. Rest with God Hazel Cooper

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