Gerald “Jerry” Zimmerman

September 21, 1930 ‒ September 23, 2016

Centerburg, Ohio

Gerald “Jerry” Zimmerman, age 86, of Centerburg passed away Friday, September 23, 2016, at Knox Community Hospital surrounded by his family.

He was born on September 21, 1930 in Strasburg, Ohio to the late Wilber and Ida (Johnson) Zimmerman.  A proud veteran of the US Air Force, it was during his service to Country that he met Joe Ann Bonnette.  They were married in 1955 and shared 61 wonderful years, raising a family, building a home and living in a number of locations throughout Jerry’s career.

He first worked with North American Rockwell on the Vigilante and OV-10 programs, followed by working with NASA on the Apollo Program.  Jerry was in charge of the command module of Apollo I at Kennedy Space Center.  He returned to Columbus and worked with the B-1 and Space Shuttle programs while at Rockwell before retiring.

Never with idle hands, he worked as a plumber, electrician, welder and mason.  He was often asked for advice due to his vast and deep knowledge of repairing anything. He worked hard to support his family and in every endeavor.  A true perfectionist at heart, he always stayed on a project until it was completed.

With his love of the automobile, his passion led him to being a co-founder of the Triumph Register of America (TRA).  Jerry relished in the comradery and fellowship of the club, which centered on TR2, 3 and 4 models. Jerry’s favorite was his restored red 1956 TR3. A daredevil in his younger years, Jerry enjoyed everything from roller skating to car racing.

He was a dedicated member of the Centerburg Church of Christ and enjoyed the Thursday study group. Caring and generous, he was also an avid fan of the Buckeyes. Jerry was at his best tinkering on a project, attending church or taking in the peaceful view from his backyard deck.  Forever the dedicated husband, he was a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He was very proud of his children’s accomplishments.

Those left to cherish his memory include his beloved wife Joe Ann, children : Jeffrey Zimmerman (Kristina Carton) of Groveport, Jay Zimmerman (Tia Raver) of Reynoldsburg, Jamie (Debbie) Zimmerman of Gahanna, Jodi Zimmerman (John Holcomb) of Centerburg, 7 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, brothers: Wilbur “Skip” (Sarah), Steve (Sue), Stan (Bonnie), Bob (Pam) McCoy, Dick (Pat) McCoy, sisters: Leonia Smith, Debbie (Terry) Cook, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

He was also preceded in death by brother Don Zimmerman.

Friends may call 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, 637 N. St. Rt. 61, Sunbury, where services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. Burial will follow in Forest Lawn Memory Garden afterwards a luncheon will be provided at the Centerburg Church of Christ.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Centerburg Church of Christ.

Condolences may be expressed at

  • Words can not express what a great man Jerry was in this life. Hope and I are ever greatful to have had Jerry as a neighbor and how he welcomed us in as a neighbor and family. We will be so missed by us. We will keep your family in our prayers.

  • Sending our deepest sympathy to the family .
    Memories of his smile and hugs from both him and Jo will forever remain on my heart.
    We will cherish so many memories years from now.

    With sincere sympathy,
    Dottie and Joe Richards

  • What a wonderful man you lost. He was always so cheerful in church. Since we moved to Missouri, I miss his hugs on Sunday morning. He and you are in our prayers.

  • Thinking of all of your family during this very sad time. Jerry was such a kind and humble man. We will miss him greatly! The Neu’s.

  • There are no words to express what Jerry meant to everyone who knew him , so sweet and kind ever time you saw him,all the smiles, hugs and kind words and prayers.
    Thinking of Jo and all the family at this sad time.
    He will be so greatly missed.
    With deepest sympathy.
    Shirley DeVault

  • God Bless and Thank YOU, Jerry for your service in The United States Air Force.. “The Eagle Has Landed”…………….. And Semper Fi.

  • There is no words to express how great Jerry was threw life. Jerry and I grew up together in New Philadelphia from grade school to graduation. We were together again in the Air Force in Texas and again in Columbus, Ohio. We were the best of friends for over 75 years and this was a great loss to everyone. He will be greatly be missed by all who knew him. Many blessings for Jo Ann and his family.

  • Sending our deepest sympathy to the Zimmerman family. Jerry was a wonderfully kind man. Lots of memories from over the years. Tom & Susie Householder

  • We extend our deepest sympathy to the Zimmerman family. Memories of Jerry include his big smile and his arms open wide for a hug. John and Charma Huddy

  • Our deepest sympathies to you and your family, Jo. Jerry will be missed by all who knew him. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • I remember my first ride down the gravel road to my new property. There was a man in overalls walking down the side of the street with his dog on a rope. Yup, I was in the country and that man I just saw worked for NASA! Getting to know Jerry and Joe Ann over the years and learning Jerry’s life story is something I will not forget, even though I haven’t lived there for about 4 years now, I still often think of Jerry walking down that gravel road. My condolences to the family.

  • Aunt Joe Ann, boys and Jodi , so sorry to hear that Uncle Jerry has passed. You were always such a close family and he sure loved you boys and his princess Jodi! I know this is a difficult time for all of you, but you’ll take care of one another. Brad and I only became closer with mom and dads passings. Know you’re in my thoughts at this tough time.
    Sincerely, Amy