Dorothy Elizabeth Zimmer, SP

Jun 7, 1918 – Feb 21, 2017

Dorothy Elizabeth Zimmer SP obituary image 1





(Sister Elizabeth of Providence)


Sister Dorothy Zimmer, age 98, a Sister of Providence for 73 years, died February 21, 2017, at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, WA.  Vigil Service:  Monday, February 27, 2017, at 7:00 PM, and Funeral Mass:  Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 10:00 AM, both at Mount St. Joseph, 12 West Ninth Avenue, Spokane, WA.  Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Spokane, WA, after Mass and reception.  Holy Cross Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Dorothy Elizabeth Zimmer was born June 7, 1918 to Peter and Elizabeth Niehoff Zimmer, in Glentana, Montana.  She was the second oldest of six children.  Dorothy entered the Sisters of Providence in February 1943 at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle, WA, and in August 1943, she became a novice.  In February 1945 she professed first vows and received the name Sister Elizabeth of Providence, and in February 1948 she professed final vows. 

Sister Dorothy graduated from Opheim High School in Opheim, Montana in 1936, then began a three-year program at Columbus Hospital School of Nursing, Great Falls, Montana, and graduated in 1939.  She worked three years as a nurse, then entered the novitiate at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle.  In 1948 she received her registered nurse certification from the State of Idaho.  

From 1945-78 Sr. Dorothy’s ministry was that of a registered nurse in several health care institutions in the province:  Washington:  Spokane - Sacred Heart Medical Center; Idaho:  Wallace – Providence Hospital; and Montana:  St. Ignatius – Holy Family Hospital; Great Falls - Columbus Hospital; Missoula – St. Patrick Hospital.  From 1978-1996 she served in pastoral care in Montana at St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula and in the parish of St. Raphael in Glasgow, as well as Valley View Nursing Home. In June 1996 Sr. Dorothy retired to Mount St. Joseph in Spokane where she volunteered in the Archives office. 

Some of Sr. Dorothy’s hobbies were handicrafts, swimming, embroidery and crocheting.  In March 2012, Dorothy moved to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, where she enjoyed and cherished spending time and her sisters in community.  

Sr. Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Louise Zimmer Lucas, Paul Zimmer, Raymond Zimmer, Richard Zimmer, and Leonie Zimmer Pehan.  She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Avenue SW, #9016, Renton, WA  98057-9016.

To view Sr. Dorothy’s obituary and picture and to sign her memory book, please visit the website for Bonney-Watson Funeral Home at


Irma Zimmer
Livermore, CA
Mar 4, 2017

Your brother, Ray, the children and I enjoyed visiting you in Spokane on our trips home from Montana. You were always a very good sister-in-law to me, and I appreciated that. We will miss you and think you! Be happy in Heaven! Say hi to all your family in heaven, especially Ray.


Irma Zimmer

Marty Zimmer and Family
Portland, OR
Feb 28, 2017

Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of visiting Sister Dorothy on our family vacations to Montana. I remember that if we did not see her during our stay in Glentana, my Dad would make sure that we would visit Sister wherever she was residing in the Northwest. The whole family looked forward to that part of the trip as she always made us feel welcome. I vividly remember the birthday party she arranged for my brother during one of our visits. The event is one of the best family birthday parties that I have attended. My memories of Sister Dorothy will always be a part of me

Paula Zimmer Rooney
Villa Park, IL
Feb 27, 2017

I remember my aunt as a quiet, gentle woman. She made you feel at peace when in her presence. My father was just a year younger than Sister Dorothy, and it was obvious they shared a very special bond. I never heard her raise her voice or utter a mean word. She deeply cared for others and was a very special person. I was privileged to have her in my life. I feel at peace knowing that she is reunited with her family in heaven with Almighty God.

Tom Zimmer and Family
Omak, WA
Feb 26, 2017

I can remember Sister Elizabeth as a gracious and fun host to us at her home and how well my parents respected her work and life as a nun/nurse and as a sister. I find it peaceful to think that you are with all your brothers and sisters, and all together with your parents enjoying the rewards that all of you deserved and earned while you were with us. Rest in peace as you have left us only with good memories.

Mary Beth Zimmer Burrill and Family
Walnut Creek, CA
Feb 25, 2017


I have fond memories of visiting you as a little girl as we drove from Montana to California every year for vacation. I always thought you were the most amazing person with your quiet ways and peaceful presence, and my Dad, Ray, thought the world of his big sister. I am happy that you are now at peace in the Kingdom of Heaven. Your spirit will be missed here on earth, but memories will carry us though. Much love. Mary Beth

James & St. Mary Pehan
Aurora, co
Feb 25, 2017

We like many others will miss you Sister Dorothy on this earth and know you will Rest in Peace in Heaven and hopefully see your other families member that are there. Thanks for being part of our lives and helping so many people out in this world and know God will reward you in Heaven. RIP.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.