Our beloved husband, father, Grandfather, and friend Emil Zimmermann went on his journey to the other side of the path of life on January 25th 2013. He was 86 years old. Papa - Opi -was blessed with a sharp intelligence, a brilliant knowledge of history, an abundant amount of wit and a humble and loving heart. He was born on April 26, 1926 in Gevelsberg, Germany and became part of a generation which had to suffer through one of the hardest time in history. He lost his beloved mother Luise when he was just a boy to a cruel regime, only to be drafted by the same government later on, as a boy soldier at the age of 15. Papa survived 3 bullets, fighting at D Day, and became a prisoner of war with the American Forces. They liked this young German, who not only tried to escape 4 times but who also showed an unyielding desire to learn and better himself. It so happened that Papa's relationship with America would result in a 47 year long career during which he was elected "man of the year" and received several awards as deputy chief of defense logistics in Germersheim/Germany. Hand in hand with Americans he supplied starving Germans during the "Berlin Airlift". Since "Emil" seemed unusual, his American friends just called him "Jim" a name that even his wife would use. So strong grew his love for America and its people, that his own son Ralf would later serve proudly in Desert Storm as a tank battalion commander. Both his daughters chose America as their home as well and so Emil was determined to follow his own lifelong dream. In 2007 he and the devoted love of his life Hannelore, sold their house and made their home in Wimberley, Texas. Papa finally felt that he was home, enjoying every day in his home, spending time with his family and watching the beautiful deer in his backyard.
He never asked for anything and enjoyed everything. He taught us that an enemy can become a friend and that all people should be treated equal and with respect. He will always be our hero that showed us that nothing is impossible and life is good. Papa's spirit will always remain with us, a reminder of what is truly important in this world.
Emil is survived by his wife of 55 years Hannelore, his daughter Diana who lived with him and cared for him with a love and devotion that can only only be called the spirit of a true angel. He also leaves behind his son Ralf Zimmermann, ret. Lt. Col. US Army, with wife Roxanne and daughter Sarah, his daughter Marina with husband Steve and their children Colin, Evan, James, Kathleen and Lily and not to forget his special 4 legged friend and companion"Pucki". His lifelong friend Jack van Doren and wife Sylvia, whose loyal friendship was a treasure in his life. He was preceded in transformation by his beloved mother Luise Zimmermann and his father Prof.Dr. Walter Zimmermann.
A small viewing for this special man will take place on Tuesday , January 25th at 2o' clock at Thomason Funeral Home in Wimberley, Texas.
The family would like to thank pastor Merlin Starr with CTMC for his gift of caring and guidance and Thomason Funeral Home Director Tony Reeves for his help, support and compassion.We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Stephen Blair and his nurse assistant Mary for being kind to Papa beyond the call of duty and for always treating Papa with the utmost respect and kindness. Thank you to everybody who has expressed love and condolences to us.