In Memory of Walter Zimmer

March 1, 1919 - February 19, 2020

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, Walter C. Zimmer passed away peacefully at the age of 100.

Walter, the oldest of 12 siblings, was born on March 1st 1919 to Herbert and Hattie Zimmer of Rice Lake.

Walt spent his childhood living and working on farms. In 1936 he joined the CCC, and in 1941 he joined the Army and served in World War II as a medical technician in Australia and the South Pacific. After his return home he married the love of his life, Genevieve Leuthner on May 17, 1945. Walt and Gen built a house on Slocumb Street in Rice Lake in 1946 where they raised three boys. He mostly worked in road construction, briefly ran his own welding shop, worked as supervisor at Garland Sand and Gravel, and concluded his career as the Rice Lake Street Superintendent, retiring in 1981. After retirement, Walt spent 30 years as caretaker of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and School, mostly doing maintenance work. He was a "jack of all trades" because he knew how to fix just about anything. In 2009 he received the Spirit of Stewardship award from the local Bishop in recognition of his many years of service. Walt also served on the Rice Lake Housing Authority and the Rice Lake Utility Commission. In retirement Walt and Gen took to polka dancing. They joined the Polka Lovers Klub of America and in 1985 were crowned King and Queen of the clubs St. Paul chapter. They traveled to polka festivals and had the time of their life. Walt was a loving man, very strong in character and diligent in every task he was asked to do. He was faithful to our almighty God and was richly blessed. He was deeply committed to and grateful for his family. His friendship and guidance was appreciated by all. He lived his life daily, making the best of it.

Walt was preceded in death by wife Genevieve, siblings Margaret Omdalen, Herbert, Donald, James, Helene Sirek, William, Paul, Jack, and Dorothy Sirek. He is survived by sisters Charlotte Paulsen and Katherine Heutmaker, sons Doug (Peggy), Dan (Mary), and David (Marcia), grandchildren Julie, Marie, Jean, Dawn, Brooke, Ben, and Anna, 9 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 AM Thursday, February 27, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rice Lake, WI, Father Samuel Schneider officiating, with interment in the St. Joseph Cemetery in Rice Lake. Visitation will be held from 4 - 7 PM Wednesday at Appleyard's Home for Funerals and for one hour prior to the service at the Church.  

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