THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Peter R. Zimmer
Peter R. Zimmer, 93, of Bark River (Ford River), passed away Monday, Jan, 30 at home surrounded by family.
Born Oct. 20, 1923, to John and Louisa (Shalow) Zimmer, he graduated from Menominee High School in 1941 and learned the importance of family and community. His mother passed when he was three and he was raised by family in Milwaukee, Elkhart, Ind. and his paternal grandmother in Menominee.
He was rejected for the World War II draft for medical reason and did not give up. He applied and enlisted four times and was rejected all four times during the years of World War II.
He valued hard and meaningful work being a commercial fisherman and truck driver. A lifetime learner and adventurer, he was attracted to aviation and in 1946, he was hired by M&M aviation as a flight line mechanic and ferry pilot. He flew around the country in a small Cessna or Piper airplane, making trips to Florida and even Cuba (pre-Castro). In 1951, he was hired by North Central Airlines and in 1955 was transferred to Escanaba, Mi. as the station manager, working there for 28 years.
As the airline industry grew, he worked for Republic Airlines, where he was the 12th most senior employee, Northwest Airlines and retired from Delta Airlines. In addition to Escanaba, he worked at the Ft. Myers, Fla. and South Bend, Ind. airports. Proud of his 37 years in the industry, he never took a sick day.
In 1958, his father became ill and was in the hospital in Menominee. While visiting, he met his fathers nurse, Sally Krienke and after 12 weeks, they eloped to Hawaii for their honeymoon. They returned to Escanaba to start a family and she remained the love of his life for 58 years.
A self-taught inventor and engineer, he took pride in solving problems, respected knowledge others offered and took pride in accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He purchased land along the shores of Green Bay to create a place that was fun and bring his family together, where family reunions and Holidays were held for the entire family.
He biked to work starting in the 60's, walked four miles a day into his 80's, and "trained" for his annual physicals, bringing him to live a full life to over 93 years old.
He is survived by three children, Mary (Bill) Ralph of Cincinnati, Oh., Diane (Mitch) Weckop of Green Bay and James (Trina) Zimmer of Louisville, Ky.; eight grandchildren; a great-grandchild and Doug (Christine) Krienke of Menominee.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Louisa Zimmer and a sister, Louise Koch.
A private family memorial service will take place at the convenience of the family. Memorials can be donated to the Sally Zimmer Nursing Scholarship at Bay de Noc Community College. Anderson Funeral Home of Escanaba is assisting the family with arrangements.