Barbara Jean Zimmerman, 79, of Sturgis, passed away early Tuesday morning, Dec. 8, 2009, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.
She was born July 9, 1930, in Columbus, Ohio, a daughter of the late Arthur and Thelma (Benson) Werkhaven.
Barb had resided in Sturgis most of her life, coming from Ohio. She graduated from Sturgis High School with the class of 1948.
On Nov. 11, 1950, she married Stanley E. Zimmerman Jr., son of the late Stanley E. and Amaza Zimmerman Sr., in Sturgis.
For more than 25 years she was a school bus driver for Sturgis Public Schools and in her younger years she had been employed as a secretary at several offices in Sturgis, including Formed Tubes. She also sold Tupperware and Avon products for many years.
She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Sturgis, where she was a member of the choir for many many years, and the First United Methodist Women. She also held memberships in the Sturgis Historical Society and TOPS. She was a life member of the first and third of the month sewing club; her mother, Thelma, was a founding member of this club. A proud tradition Thelma passed on to her daughter and granddaughter. Barb truly enjoyed her 3rd Thursday class luncheons. For many years she owned and bred Dachshunds.
Many will remember her as Grandma Barb, lovingly caring for many Sturgis newborns as if they were her own. She was proud that quite often “her babies” came back to her with their babies.
Barb is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Stanley; two daughters, Linda (Tod) Kershner of Sturgis and Nancy (Gil) Perry of Fairplay, Colo.; two sons, Douglas (Brenda Kelley) Zimmerman of Quincy and John (Judy) Zimmerman of Stuart, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Debra Singleton, Nikki Kershner, Heidi Kershner, Tyler Kershner, Sara (Chris) Herrmann, Justin (Ashley) Zimmerman and Lacy Good-Zimmerman; four great-grandchildren, Storm Singleton, Emma Zimmerman, Theo Hermann and Amaza Herrmann; a great-great-granddaughter; and a sister, Diana Adams of San Diego, Calif.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 10-10:45 a.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Sturgis, where a memorial service celebrating the life of Barbara Jean Zimmerman will begin at 11 a.m. Friday. The Rev. Deb Johnson and the Rev. Robert Keim will officiate. Private burial of the ashes will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St. in Sturgis, is handling the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Zimmerman’s memory consider the First United Methodist Church, 200 Pleasant Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the Sturgis Historical Society 200 W. Main St., Sturgis, MI 49091.