Richard Louis Zimmerman

Richard Louis Zimmerman, 60, passed away on May 27, 2009, ending a bravely fought battle against lung cancer.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date in August for family and friends.

Richard was born to Stanley and Evelyn Zimmerman in Ithaca, N.Y. on November 22, 1948. He grew up exploring Six Mile Creek and the beautiful area around Cornell University, where his father was a professor of electrical engineering.

He attended Ithaca High School and Tompkins Cortland Community College until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1971, where he served as a missile crewman stationed in Germany until his honorable discharge. Richard worked in the Cayuga Salt Mine and for New York State Power – Gas before moving to Texas in 1974.

Experience in cathodic protection drilling in Houston brought him to the Austin Chalk oil fields of central Texas, where he worked his way up from ‘worm corner’ to driller on rigs for several drilling outfits. Most recently he worked as a mechanic and millwright at Texas Municipal Power Agency and Texas A-M University.

He most enjoyed camping and fishing, partying with friends, traveling, salvaging junk, gardening, and playing with his dog, Boomer. He was most proud of his two children, Ginny and Wayne.

He never missed an orchestra recital, a soccer or football game, or an opportunity to cheer their successes. He instilled in them a strong work ethic, as well as a sense of responsibility, generosity, humor, and independence.

Above all, Dick was a loyal friend to many, a contrary pain in the neck to some, but always a loving father and faithful husband.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Phyllis; children, Ginny and Wayne; two sisters, Dorothy Bynack of Somers, Conn. and Jo Anne Busch, and husband Stephen, of Fort Collins, Colo.; one brother, Bill Zimmerman and wife Maria, of New Hope, Minn.; several nieces and nephews, in-laws, ‘outlaws,’ and many friends and colleagues


  1. Dear Zimmerman Family:
    Dick was one a kind. I feel so blessed to have spent time with him at the river and get to know all of you. We will all do our best to keep his memory alive! The stories we will tell! Love, Marri – David Lilly

  2. Phyllis, Wayne and Ginny,

    Please know that y’all are in our thoughts and prayers.

    If you need anything, please let us know.

    Keith and Tracey

  3. Richard/Dick/Mr.Zimmerman…All names I used when passing him at our workplace. I had only been lucky enough to associate with him a little bit. I remember mostly watching him at work and being amazed at the amount of two man work, produced by one man, so quickly. He knew what he was doing!!!Our thoughts and prayers go out o his family and friends who can find strength through the Lord. Ours is not to understand why, but the Lord works in mysterious ways and Richard leaving this world is part of God’s divine plan.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with Zimmy’s family at this very sad time. Having worked with Zimmy at the Power Plant, I know he will be greatly missed. His upbeat, always smiling attitude always lifted my spirit.

  5. Phyllis, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I enjoyed being around Richard and getting to know him.. although, I did not know him for very long. He was a sweet, sweet man. If you need anything please let us know. Angella Lyles

  6. Phyllis, Ginny – Wayne,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. Dick was definitly ‘one of a kind’, he had many layers (kind of like Shrek in that respect)! He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. We are all better people for having him touch our lives in one way or another. Whenever we all get together, there will always be a ‘Richard story’ to be told! Please give me a shout if there is anything you need! Peg – Caitlin

  7. Phyllis, Wayne – Ginny. We are so sorry to hear about Richard’s passing. Ya’ll are in our thoughts and prayers. We feel very blessed to have spent our first Nascar race with Richard as well as his last race. If there is anything we can do please let us know.
    William – Barbara

  8. Phyllis and family,
    We are so sorry to hear about our friend ‘grinder’. He was definitely the life of the party and always so fun to be around. What a nice man, husband and father. We were blessed to know him and will miss him. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  9. To express our deep sympathy to you on your loss. We thank Richard for serving our country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era. Because of you – other young men – women we have our freedom in this great country. Thank you for your many contributions to the Brazos Valley. May God’s Speed Be With You Soldier.

  10. Last summer, Mike and Richard were at the house helping us with a project. We finiished working and then stood outside and watched the space station go by. It was a nice night, and a nice memory. We’re sorry he’s gone.

  11. Dear Phyllis, Jenny, and Wayne,
    Wanted to send you a message, belatedly, that all of you have been in our thoughts and prayers. Richard never failed to stop by and give me a friendly and gracious greeting whenever I saw him and I always enjoyed talking to him. Bradley wanted me to tell you it was the same for him. We will miss him. Regan says hello. She remembers Jenny babysitting her when we lived on Brothers.
    Lynda Hurt

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