Russell R. Zimmerman, 93, of DeWitt passed away at the Beatrice Health and Rehab Center on Wednesday evening, December 5, 2018. Russell was born July 2, 1925 to Harry E. and Emma K. (Lewien) Zimmerman, five miles north-west of DeWitt. He was baptized and joined the Zion Evangelical Church at an early age, which was located seven miles west of DeWitt. Russell attended DeWitt High School, graduating in 1942
He enlisted in the Navy soon after graduation and served in the South Pacific as a Radioman aboard the sub-chaser U.S.S. SC-725 during World War II.
Russell was united in marriage on August 24, 1947, with Meryl M. Rathbun in the DeWitt Methodist Episcopal Church. They made their home on the farm just east of DeWitt, where they resided for 71 years. This union was blessed with two children: son Dennis and daughter Linda.
Upon the closing of the Zion United Methodist Church in 1981, Russell's church membership was transferred to the DeWitt United Methodist Church. He served in many capacities in his Church and Sunday School throughout his life.
Russell also served as Treasurer of the DeWitt School Board and Treasurer of the DeWitt Cemetery Board. He was a member of the Three Rivers Amateur Radio Club of Beatrice, Nebraska and a member of the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club of Lincoln, Nebraska. His Silent Key is N0BTL.
Russell was a Life Member of the Beatrice Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1077 and a Permanent Member of the DeWitt American Legion Post #212. On July 8, 2008 Russell traveled with the Heartland Honor Flight to Washington D.C., honoring WWII veterans. On Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, Russell was honored with a Quilt of Valor presented at the DeWitt American Legion Post #212.
After retirement from farming in 1990, he enjoyed woodworking. Russell loved his wife Meryl of 71 years and spending time with his family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Paul Zimmerman, and sister-in-law Mae Zimmerman.
Russell is survived by his wife Meryl of DeWitt; son Dennis Zimmerman and wife Mary of Omaha; daughter Linda Burns and husband Charles of Mazeppa, Minnesota; four grandsons:
Ryan Zimmerman; Scott Zimmerman; Matthew Burns and wife Stephanie; Joshua Burns and wife Allison; one granddaughter, Rachel (Burns) Kleppe and husband John; and three great-grandchildren: Elijah and Wyatt Burns and Ruth Kleppe; nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives, friends and loved ones.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 10, 2018 at the DeWitt United Methodist Church with Reverend Edgar Millican officiating. Interment will be at the Oak Grove Cemetery, DeWitt. Military graveside services provided by the DeWitt American Legion Post #212. The body will lie in state Sunday from 12:00-8:00 at the Venrick-Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in DeWitt with the family greeting friends from 2-4:00, and at the church one hour preceding the service. A family prayer service will be held at 10:15 a.m. Monday at the church. A memorial has been established to the DeWitt American Legion with Galen and Marna Conn in charge. Sign Russell's online guest book and view his video tribute when completed at www.ghchapel.com.
These services have been entrusted to the Venrick-Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in DeWitt.