Ethel Jane Zimmer
November 20, 1928 – October 9, 2021
Family will receive friends on Tuesday, October 12th, from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Wednesday, Oct. 13th at 10:30am, Christ the King Catholic Church, 654 S. 86th St. Interment: Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Diabetes Association.
To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service, Mass, and Graveside Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.
Ethel Jane Zimmer passed away peacefully at her Fountain View apartment in Omaha, Nebraska, October 9, 2021. Ethel was surrounded by love as she passed from this world with all her children close by. Seven here on earth, and two welcoming her into Heaven.
Ethel was born on November 20, 1928, to Madge and George Powell in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, where she lived until graduating from high school. Following her high school graduation she moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to attend Nettleton School of Business. While in Sioux Falls, she met her future husband, Ray, at the Arkota Ballroom. That meeting led to many dances, an enduring marriage, nine children, thirty-four grandchildren, thirty-two great-grandchildren (with two more on the way), and the anticipation of her first great-great-grandchild.
They raised a big family. Ethel’s pride and joy were evident at each gathering, gatherings that no one ever wanted to miss. Her family is big, but she knew each member as an individual. Ethel was keenly aware of the unique nature of this large group and made it work with her solid example of unconditional love.
Ethel was a modern woman who really did do it all. She worked hard as a mother of nine, worked at a department store, in concessions, for an insurance company, and completed her work experience as an equal partner at Zimmer Oil Company. Her appearance was always stylish, her demeanor always calm, her attitude always hopeful. If she was asked how she did everything, the answer was always the same, “Oh I don’t know, I just did it.” or “It all worked out.” Her ability to use very few words to make a strong point was one of her gifts.
Work and family were a big part of Ethel’s life, but her friends and fun were as well. Ethel maintained friends for life, especially if you lived on South 9th Avenue. She liked to play bridge, enjoyed cheering on college football on Saturday and cheering on the Saints on Sunday. Ethel was willing to participate in a small wager now and then, be it a trip to the casino or Dancing with the Stars. She and Ray were the best dancers ever, and together they embraced life. They looked forward to their winter retreat in Arizona, celebrations, and any opportunity to be on a boat. Ethel’s keen sense of direction and appreciation for a good map fostered her favorite activity, travel. They loved their road trips, travels throughout the United States and beyond. Ethel also experienced a few mother/daughter adventures which generated many stories, some told and some not. A quote from Ethel which appeared in her high school yearbook read, “I want to take a trip around the world and buy a souvenir from each country.”
Ethel, as you would always say, “It all worked out.”
Ethel was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Zimmer; sons, Jeffrey Zimmer, Larry Zimmer; parents, Madge and George Powell; granddaughters, Megan Zimmer, Stephanie Zimmer; son-in-law, Grady Baldwin; sister, Marian Nelson; brother, Marvin Powell. Survived by children and spouses: Jack and Mary Zimmer, Dan and Beth Zimmer, Kathy and Randy Navrkal, Rick and Pat Zimmer, Greg and Kay Zimmer, Terri and Bryan Becker, Lisa and Joe Blankman; daughters-in-law, Marcy Zimmer, Peggy Zimmer; thirty-four grandchildren; thirty-four great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.