Tom Zimmerman left his earthly world on September 11, 2021 to be greeted in Heaven by his parents, daughter, many other family and friends and all the Buckeyes who have gone before him. He was a good, kind man, a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, and a good in-law to all who have been lucky enough to have him in their family.
Tom grew up on a farm in the Wooster, Ohio area and loved showing his 4-H animals. He enjoyed his school years, was class president and graduated in 1958 from Northwestern High School. As a member of the National Honor Society, he also excelled in industrial arts and some of his furniture pieces took 1st place in State competitions. He had a great time playing basketball and baseball and was a player on the 1958 State Basketball Championship team, which was also voted as Team of the Decade. After high school he attended Kent State for 2 years.
He began his career at Cincinnati Insurance Company in 1965 and retired from there in 2006. Tom and his family moved to Michigan in 1973 and brought his Buckeye Spirit with him. He was the first Field Claims Manager for Cincinnati Insurance in the state of Michigan, making many lifelong friends, including his first contact Dave Wallace. Tom spent good times with his friends in the Saginaw Valley Adjustor’s Association.
Tom and Sandy were married in 2000 to begin their lives together of adventures, travel and family gatherings. In retirement, Tom’s main hobby was “puttering” in his garage and making daily trips to Ace Hardware in his red Ford pickup. When we cleaned out the garage, it was discovered that Ace Hardware could be restocked. He was a great Loons fan and spent 10 years sitting in the same seat. Knowing how much he loved ice cream he would sometimes get extra treats. He knew who to look for if he needed a little extra.
The best times in our lives were not about what we had, but who we were with.
Left to cherish Tom’s memories are his wife Sandy (Knochel), children, Julie Schiedt (Nick), Tami Schlosser (Jerry), their mother Judy Wise, and Sandy’s children, Jonathan and Jennifer Van Den Boom. His grandchildren, Amanda Duford, Samantha Altman, Olivia (Casey) Delsoover, and great grandchildren Dalen, Nolan, Dalton and Reagan. His siblings Larry Zimmerman (Theda), Linda Smucker (Larry), brother-in-law Louis Hastings. Sandy’s family, sisters-in-law Sally Corbat and Jan Knochel, brothers-in-law Kim, Keith (Janette) and Joe (Debbie) Knochel. He was also very fond of Tammy Smith, Brandi Kunz and their families, and his Buckeye buddies, Todd and Nancy Nord. Toma also had many nieces and nephews who enjoyed his sense of humor and teasing. He was often asked why he wore red all the time and he would tell them “I’m a Buckeye”.
Tom was predeceased by his parents Carl and Addie (Dilyard) Zimmerman, his sister Karen Hastings, and his daughter, Brenda Duford, in-laws Erv and Janie Knochel and brother-in-law Mike Knochel.
A celebration of Tom will be held in Midland at Dow Diamond, home of the Great Lakes Loons, on Thursday, September 23 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Please come and visit with the family, a time to share memories will begin at 4:30, followed by some of Tom’s favorite ballpark treats.
Tom would only want a casual send-off so wear red if you can to the celebration. Cremation has taken place, in lieu of flowers, please consider his charities, The Pinconning Area Emergency Food Pantry or the Northwestern High School All-Sports fund.
Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Zimmerman family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.