Melvin Zimmer, 72, Mesa, Arizona, passed away, August 16, 2019, in Staples, Minnesota, while traveling and visiting friends with Berdina (Bernie), his wife of 53 years. It was Mel’s dream to retire and see the country traveling in his new Winnebago. We think it was his goal to see all the “giant balls of twine” the country had to offer.
Mel was born to Phillip and Otillia (Hust) Zimmer on August 1, 1947, in Streeter, North Dakota. After growing up in Tappen and graduating from high school in 1965, Mel and Bernie were married shortly before Mel headed off to Vietnam. Mel remained proud of his service and was active in Veteran causes and events until the end.
Mel found great joy in morning walks with friendly coffee stops along the way, rock-hounding and making jewelry, golfing, and in growing tasty vegetables in the desert heat, among other activities. His greatest passion, however, was spending time with and in service to his family. His breakfast concoctions were some of the best ever; you could always hear him happily humming away as he worked in the kitchen. Over the years, Mel and Bernie lived in many places and always made life-long friendships wherever they went.
Mel was a member of a number of service organizations some of which included, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, and the Knights of Columbus.
Mel is survived by his loving wife, Bernie; two sons, Mel Jr. (Jodi) and Tim (Joann); one daughter, Julie; two grandsons, Ryan and Alex; and two granddaughters, Alesha and Sidney. Mel achieved his retirement goal of moving with Bernie to Mesa, Arizona, in 2012, and cherished the many friendships he made living in Mesa Village Mobile Home Park.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Otillia Zimmer; his brothers Ervin and Marvin; and a baby sister, Violet.
Funeral services will be held in Bismarck, ND at the chapel at the Parkway Funeral Home (2330 Tyler Parkway) at 11:00 am, Saturday, August 24, followed by a luncheon and fellowship at the AMVETS Club, 2402 Railroad Avenue. He will be interred Monday, August 26 at 1:00 pm, at the State Veteran’s Cemetery in Mandan.