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Jerald “Jerry” V. Zimmerman, 82, of Sparta, died Saturday, November 4, 2023, at Mayo Health System, La Crosse. He was born on April 5, 1941, in West Bend, WI to Clarence and Marie (Wiedmeyer) Zimmerman. He grew up in the Tomah and Sparta area and graduated from Viroqua High School.
Jerry married Barbara A. Marx on May 26, 1962, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Tomah. They first met in a country school in 1956. Jerry liked to fondly reminisce about always knowing that Barb was the one he planned to wed. They celebrated 61 years of marriage in 2023.
Not long after marrying, Jerry and Barb moved to Milwaukee and then moved back to Sparta in early 1967.
Jerry was educated and trained as a tool and die maker, and spent many years working in that field. He worked at Trane Company in La Crosse, American Motors in Milwaukee, St. Dominic Catholic Church in Brookfield, and Southside Machine and Northern Engraving in Sparta. He was also a skilled woodworker. After his previous career ended, he spent the rest of his working days in his workshop building furniture and accent pieces. Jerry especially took pride in making beautiful, keepsake wooden rocking horses.
In addition to woodworking, he enjoyed farming, fishing, hunting, the outdoors, camping and playing cards. In recent years, he and Barb had a seasonal campsite at Veterans Memorial Campground in West Salem, finishing their eighth season there this year. Jerry’s greatest joy in life was spending time with the people he loved.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Barb of Sparta; children, Mark (Juanita) Zimmerman of Bangor, Steve (Michelle) Zimmerman of West Salem, Kurt (Jennifer) Zimmerman of West Salem, and Paul (Kathy) Zimmerman of Sparta; grandchildren, Justin (Stephanie), Jordan (Charlene), Jeremy, Tyler (Brittney), Alyssa, Tanner, Keegan, Corey (Paige), and Hailee; great grandchildren, Rosalie, Roman, Sawyer, Gage, Bentley, Ava, Jaxson, Jace, and Kora; sisters, Dianna (Don) Ekern of Onalaska and Verna Schmidt of East Troy, WI; in-laws Marjorie Burns, Doyle Marx, Marcella Genske, Richard (Margaret) Marx, Bonnie Marx, Dave (Debi) Marx, Jim (Sheila) Marx; other family, Edith, Karen, Margie, and Myrna; nieces, nephews, and friends, including special lifelong friends Ron and Arlene Koboski.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Marie; parents-in-law, Clarence and Nellie Marx; stepfather, Victor Mikkelson; brother, Clarence Jr.; in-laws, Jack Schmidt, Bob Marx, Hunter and Margaret Falls, Ed Burns, Phillip Genske; and great granddaughter, Hennessy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with Father Eric Berns officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Family and friends are invited for visitation from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Thursday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com. In lieu of flowers or plants, monetary gifts are kindly appreciated or donations to a charity of your choice.
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.