Norm passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family in his 99th year on the 6th of November, 2023 at Hospice Simcoe, Barrie. Norm was born March 6th, 1925, to deaf parents in Palgrave, Ontario, the 4th of four children including three sisters.
Loving Husband of 74 years to Mary Zimmerman (predeceased Feb 2022) and devoted Father of four sons Robert (Cindy), Bruce (Janet), Brian (Carol Anne), and Richard (Fern). Cherished Papa (Poppa) to eleven Zimmerman grandchildren Ryan (Andrea), Sheldon (Robyn), Scott Zimmerman, Jason (Christine), Justin (Taryn), Stephanie (Brandon), Luke (Kayla), Nicholas, Adrian, Alex (Stephanie), and Emily (Sam). Proud great grandfather ten times over to Ella, Harbour, Charlotte, Russell, Ruby, Eva, Brooke, Emmett, Raelynn, and Marshall.
Norm touched the lives of many throughout his remarkable journey. During WWII Norm joined the RCAF in 1943 and achieved the rank of Flying Officer at the young age of 19. His long career as a private Custom Home Builder saw him construct over 100 magnificent homes in Palgrave, the surrounding Albion Hills, and beyond. Norms entrepreneurial skills developed at a very young age when he would often travel with his deaf carpenter Father John to customer job sites to discuss the work required or to collect money owed.
In the late 40’s he was an early volunteer fire fighter and later a long serving Fire Chief of the Palgrave Fire Department (1955). He was awarded the 35-year Ontario Firefighter Long Service Medal by the Ontario Fire Marshal. Norm considered service to his community an important part of one’s life. For many years including this past year, Norm volunteered to recite by memory the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae at various Remembrance Day ceremonies.
He and wife Mary enjoyed many years of family life, travelling, camping, cottage life, and golf. For many years Norm was drawn to the shores of Georgian Bay and in the early eighty’s built and lived with Mary in a beautiful custom home on Sawlog Bay (near Penetanguishene). Some years later they moved to Collingwood and then later Alliston and gained many new and very good friends along the way.
Norm was a remarkable father, grandfather and great grandfather who cherished and took great joy and interest in watching his family grow. Norm’s great sense of humor was contagious, and he never failed to leave a smile on the faces of family and friends. He took a keen interest in his family and considered it important to remember everyone’s birthday and to know how everyone was doing in their life.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Simcoe (336 Penetanguishene Road, Barrie ON L4M 7C2).
Loved by all and missed by many, rest in peace Norm.