Gary Rudi Zimmermann, 73, a retired operations director in transportation and a Marine, died unexpectedly in his sleep on March 13, 2021 at his home in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.
Gary is survived by his wife of 42 years, JoAnne Zimmermann of Lunenburg, MA; his daughter, Barret Jean Zimmermann; his sister, Marsha Valkyr, and his many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, squadron-mates and friends. Gary was predeceased by his beloved little sister, Leslie Zimmermann, and Ellie Dog, his faithful chocolate Labrador Retriever, who passed away two weeks earlier and no doubt greeted him at the gates.
Gary was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 20, 1947 to the late Jean Naomi Penberthy and Rudi Erich Zimmermann. He spent his early years in Michigan and Connecticut as an Eagle Scout, player of sports, and pursuer of adventure. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps after high school and served two tours in the Vietnam War. For his service, Gary was awarded an Air Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Vietnam Service Medal with 3 stars, and the Rifle Marksman Badge, among other medals.
Gary was introduced to JoAnne, by JoAnne’s sister Nancy, and after quickly falling for each other they were married on May 26, 1978. Over the course of their marriage, Gary and JoAnne lived across New England, in Pennsylvania, and in Canada, which allowed them to meet and befriend many wonderful people, who have enriched their lives. While living in Bangor, ME, Gary developed his own B.S. Degree Program at the University of Maine, which included a period of German language study at the Geothe-Institut, in Rothenburg o. d., Germany. Later in life, he earned a Web Development Certification from Fitchburg State College and studied IT at Harvard University Extension School. He had a growth mindset.
Gary was devoted to his friends and family and took pride in being a father to daughter, Barret. He especially enjoyed spending the holidays with them. He loved reading, computing, and cooking, as well as planning and attending his US Marine Corps Squadron Reunions. A charitable man, Gary supported Toys for Tots and Veterans, Inc., among others. Gary had a wonderful sense of humor, a jovial demeanor, and took delight in skydiving, playing pinochle with his brothers-in-law, and fishing with his friends and cousins. He will be greatly missed.
In consideration of the restrictions of the Covid19 pandemic there are no services planned at this time. A Celebration honoring Gary’s life will be held when it is safe to do so properly. The family kindly askes memorial contributions in Gary’s honor be made to Veterans, Inc. by calling (508) 791-1213 ext. 1162 or visiting their website: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=vetsinc&id=1. Veterans, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization that provides veterans and their families with the support and services they need.
Gary’s funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 763 Massachusetts Ave. Lunenburg.
John F. Masciarelli, James M. Hebert, and Olivia L. Willett, funeral directors.
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