October 19, 2018 at 7:36 a.m.
Gene Zimmerman was born on January 12, 1925 in Eau Claire, WI to John and Emma Zimmerman. He graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1942, enlisted in the U.S Army Air Corps, and served there during the next three years of World War II.
In 1947 he married Solveig Hagestad from Eleva, WI. Together they lived in Eau Claire, WI for 26 years, raising two sons Alan and David, while Gene worked as a truck driver for the Peters Meat Co. During that time, Gene also started a Christmas tree business that he continued to lead in that location as well as other Midwestern locations for 47 years.
In 1973, Gene and Solveig moved to Lindstrom, MN to accomplish one of their dreams – to live on a lake. Gene changed employers, driving truck for Hart Motor Express, until he retired in 1980.
After Solveig’s death in 1979, Gene met Jeanne Edwards at a singles Christian fellowship meeting in St. Paul Minnesota.
They married in 1980 and lived in Lindstrom, MN for 21 years; filling their retirement years by hosting hundreds of guests at their lake home, traveling to 17 countries, volunteering for numerous church activities, caring for their immense gardens, and working their Christmas tree business.
In 2001, Gene and Jeanne moved to Chico, California to spend their latter years in a warmer climate, living closer to Jeanne’s son and wife Bruce and Mary Edwards.
For all who knew Gene, he will be fondly remembered and deeply missed. He was known for his big heart, his unconditional love for his family, his funny stories, his keen grasp of politics, and his love for fishing.
Most importantly, Gene was a man of deep faith entirely committed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Gene spent 10 years as a Sunday School Superintendent, served as a Stephens Ministries volunteer, attended Bible studies his entire life, worked with the homeless, and tutored the young.
Gene was survived by his wife Jeanne; his two sons Alan Zimmerman of Bonita Springs, FL and David Zimmerman of Florence, AZ; his two stepchildren Bruce Edwards and Vicki Doeden of Chico, CA. Gene is also survived by four grandchildren Shelly Zimmerman Roppe, Aaron Doeden, Blake Doeden and Rachel Lee and 7 great-grandchildren.
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