Robert Ludwig Gustav “Bob” Zimmerman, age 99, was born September 14, 1923, to Gustav Ludwig ad Ella Augusta (Zimmerman) Zimmerman on a farm 8 1/2 miles northeast of Falls City, Nebraska, that his grandfather purchased in 1878. He passed away April 25. 2023, living his whole life near and in Falls City. He was a lifelong member of the Zion United Church of Christ, baptized, confirmed and married there. He also served on the Church Board for several years. He met Margaret Naomi Hill there at an ice cream social in 1943 and they were married October 8, 1944. They were married for 72 years before Mom passed away October 16, 2016. Susan Faye was born August 2, 1945, and Thomas Allan was born August 10, 1951.
Dad received a letter from the President of the United States (Franklin Delaware Roosevelt)……..he was drafted! Dad left home May 8, 1945, and went by train to Fort Leavenworth, where he was inducted. The war ended while Dad was in Texas training to go to Japan. But he was still in the Army, so he left on a train for overseas shipment. He sailed on the Liberty Ship, which was not very big, but they were stacked five high in bunks. Many stories to tell about that trip! He ended up in Tombola, Italy and worked switching supply trains. He saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and some other sites, but the highlight was a couple of times when he met friends from Falls City that were stationed somewhere else. He ate Christmas dinner in Tombola with the Japanese-American 42nd Infantry. He was discharged and back on the farm in time to go to the Humboldt Fair in September 1946.
Dad grew up a farmer and farmed where he was born until his first retirement in 1986 when he moved into Falls City. He was the proud father of his son, Tom, that continued farming the Home Place! While he was farming, he also worked for Nelson Merz at Merz Farm Equipment for 10 years. The stories he could tell about that! He remembered many pieces of equipment he sold, who he sold them to, where they lived and for how much, until two days before he passed away. During those farming years, Dad taught Susan how to drive a 4-speed on the floor, of course, a Ford tractor! Tom learned to drive the same way. He served on the school board at District 28, where he went to school when Susan and Tom were students there. When Tom started TZ Feed and Seed, Dad started working there and also helped Tom with farming for a while. Dad loved working in that store, talking to all the customers and selling again! After Tom’s sudden death and the store being sold, Dad went to work at Orscheln’s, again selling and talking to customers for several years. After that, he went to work part-time, mowing the Greens at the Falls City Country Club. He was almost 90 when he retired from his last job. But he wasn’t done yet! He, Mom, her sister Helen and Helen’s husband Glenn were regulars on the bus going to a Casino nearby. They all passed away, but Dad kept going! He knew exactly what day to go where and how much money he could get there. His saying was, “I never won much, but I never lost much either.” Another thing he always said was, “I just love to drive!” And drive he did, 95,000 miles in the last five years! Last week he told me how he learned to drive. They had a 1917 Ford car, and he would go in the garage, shift gears, steer for hours, and never leave the garage.
His favorite pastime was watching his son and all his grandchildren play sports! Baseball was his favorite from the time Tom started on Little League in 1962/63 until just about 10 days before Dad died when he watched his great-grandson pitch in High School. He followed all their games and asked how they did even if he couldn’t go. Now he will have the best seat in the house and he will be watching! Dad was also last in a few things. One of, if not the last, World War II veterans in Falls City, the last Original Member of the Falls City Rural Fire Department. He drove the area asking farmers to join the Rural Fire Department.
Dad was a storyteller, so I had to tell you his!
Bob is survived by his daughter, Susan Sipple; his son-in-law, Bill Sipple; his daughter-in-law, Carol Zimmerman; grandchildren, Timothy Dale Chesnut (Christi), Angela Sue Quinn (Shawn), William Robert LeRoy “Robbie” Sipple (Amanda), Christina Elizabeth Sipple, Darcy Allan Zimmerman (Charity) and Lindsay Nichole Druba (Jeff). Step grandchildren, Loni Bahr (Cathy) and Kerry Fritz (Darin). Great grandchildren, Andrew James Dean (Brooke), Justin Timothy Chesnut, Derek William Cook, Collin Robert Cook, Kasen Thomas Sipple, Mason Jeffrey Wurtele, Kamden Philip Sipple, Jeffrey Thomas Druba, Tallan Jax Zimmerman, Kyler Neal Sipple, Lane Austin Druba, Noah Christopher Sipple, Kasey Nicole Druba and Kemper Louise Sipple. Eight step-great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.
Gone before him were his parents, his wife Margaret, his son Thomas, his sister Rosella Harshbarger and many of his friends. Dad’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 10:30 A.M. at Zion United Church of Christ, with Pastor Bruce Demmel officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be the grandchildren. Military graveside honors by Falls City Ceremonial Honor Guard.
No viewing or visitation; friends may sign the guest registry during regular business hours at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home.