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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 18, 2018

7/24/2018 7:30:00 AM
Werner R. Zimmer

Werner R. "Zim" Zimmer, age 99 of Rhinelander, passed away on Sunday, July 22, 2018, at Ascension St. Mary's Hospital. He was born on June 26, 1919, in Pigeon, Mich. to Rueben and Hannah (Boehner) Zimmer.

When Werner was six months old, his family moved to Wisconsin, purchasing a farm west of Merrill. At the age of 12, the family moved to Rhinelander and, due to his father's ill health, Werner worked throughout his teenage years and early 20s to help support the family. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1942 and fought in the Pacific theater during World War II earning the Purple Heart. Upon returning from the war, Werner worked for the Wisconsin Conservation Department in forest fire control. He married Leona "Lee" Voermans on June 10, 1950, a marriage that lasted 65 years until Lee's death in 2015.

Werner started employment as the Oneida County forest administrator in 1948, a position that he would hold for 32 years until his retirement in 1980. Some of his many accomplishments during that time include negotiations for the acquisition and the subsequent development of the Almon Recreation Area on Buck Lake. He also designed and oversaw the construction of the very first State of Wisconsin approved and funded snowmobile trail, a 40-mile looping trail system in the Town of Enterprise. This feat earned him the title, by one newspaper account, as the "Father of the Wisconsin Snowmobile Trail System." He also designed and developed many other parks, waysides, ski trails, boat landings, and miles of forest roads for the public to enjoy.

Throughout his life, Werner loved to travel and visited most every corner of the United States. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and was also an avid bowler and golfer.

Werner was preceded in death by his wife, Leona on Oct. 1, 2015, his parents, as well as seven brothers and sisters. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.

The funeral service for Werner will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018, at the Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414/ with Rev. Richard Krahn officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of service on Friday at the funeral home. Interment will take place in St. Augustine Catholic Cemetery in Harrison.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a contribution to your favorite charity in Werner's name would be greatly appreciated.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Article comment by: Gregory Pence

I was glad to meet Mr. Zimmer at his sign dedication and glad we were able to honor him in this small way with these signs, my condolences to his family.. Greg Pence County Supervisor District 6, Member Forestry Committee

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232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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