James J. Zimmerman (1941-2015)

James Zimmerman

James J. Zimmerman, age 74, passed away peacefully at St. Paul’s House in Chicago on December 28, 2015.

James was born on March 6, 1941 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He attended St. Mary’s Springs High School.  After high school, James entered the United States Navy where he remained for 20 years. James served in Vietnam and served on the USS Crockett (PG-88) and the USS Windham County (LST 1170). While stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, James met his future wife and love of his life Yoshiko Kushima. They were married on September 25, 1968. Upon his return to the U.S., his daughter Emily was born on March 9, 1970. After living in various areas of the U.S., James and his family settled in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1979. He retired from the Navy in 1981 and started working at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, Illinois, where he remained for 20 years.

James volunteered for the Ministry of Hope at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He loved his Packers (esp. Brett Favre), gardening, riding his bike, working on cars, going to sprint car races, and just tinkering around the house. For a long time, he was the unofficial handyman at his daughter’s condo building. James was like an encyclopedia of knowledge and enjoyed anything military or war related.  He was a quiet man, but someone who could always be relied on.

James is survived by his daughter Emily Cerbone and his son-in-law Joseph Cerbone. He was preceded in death by his wife Yoshiko, brother Del, sisters-in-law Nancy, Asae, Munako, and Keiko, brothers-in-law Kazuo and Dale, and nephew Michael.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday January 2, 2016 at 11:00AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kenosha. (Corner of 39th Avenue and 73rd Street) Visitation with the family will be on Saturday at the church from 9:30AM until the time of mass. Burial will follow at All Saints Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in his name to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or the Les Turner Foundation.

Thank you to his caregiver and friend Yoneko Berenz, the Les Turner Foundation, ALS Worldwide, JourneyCare, the Hines VA,Northwestern Hospital, the Ministry of Hope, and many more.

Thoughts for James J. Zimmerman (1941-2015);

  • Eleazar Escobedo Jr says:

    From the Escobedo family .Sorry for your loss . I knew Jimmy from Abbott and was a good guy to talk to I will miss him. Chalo

  • Randy Strickland says:

    It is with a very heavy heart that I send prayers and condolences from our family to that of my good friend and neighbor Jim Zimmerman. We worked together for years and lived near one another for many more. Always quick to help and never did I hear him utter a cross word. I always had trouble figuring out Jim’s dry sense of humor, but he was always a pleasure to be around. I will surely miss him and know that he is now in a better place. May he rest in peace!

  • Jim was a very honorable person. Always great to be in his presence. He and I were stationed together at Great Lakes in the late 70’s and worked together at Abbott Labs. My condolences go out to Jim’s family and friends. We lost a great one. Rest in peace “Zimmie”

  • So sorry for the family’s loss. Jim was one of the good guys. Worked him him many years at Abbott and always enjoyed his sense of humor, talking about old cars, and teasing him about the Packers. R.I.P. Jim.

  • I was very saddened to read in the note I got from Emily, about Jim’s passing. I offer my most sincere condolences to his family.

    How I came to know Jim is through a letter I got in the mail, sometime in 1989, from Jim regarding a genealogical connection between us. That connection was through the Dame family.
    I’ve only met Jim and Yoshiko once that was in downtown Milwaukee. We decided to get together just to meet each other after being in e-mail contact for several years. It was nice to finally meet them after several years of exchanging Christmas cards.

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