Ward H. Zimmerman

Aug 8, 1927 – Jun 17, 2014

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Ward H Zimmerman
Aug 8, 1927 - May 6, 2014

Ward H Zimmerman, 86, of Seattle, Washington, died along with his brother Robert L Zimmerman in an airplane accident in Wyoming on May 6, 2014.

He was born on August 8, 1927 in a log cabin in Ziebach County, south of Dupree, South Dakota to Ward H. and Nettie N. Zimmerman.

Ward graduated from Philip High School class of 1945, in Philip, South Dakota. He joined the Navy and completed flight training at Corpus Cristi, Texas. He graduated from The South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, South Dakota, class of 1950.

He married Elynor R. Noble on June 17, 1948 in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Ward was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying deer hunting, fishing and hiking. He loved to travel, and most especially he loved flying.

He spent his working career as a Mechanical Engineer at the Boeing Airplane Company beginning in 1953. Among other projects he worked on the supersonic transport and the predecessor of the space shuttle. He was most proud of his patent for the Electronic Propulsion Control System (EPCS) now used on all commercial airplanes.

Ward was a devout Christian and volunteered in many roles including leader of the children's chapel and then lay reader at St Luke's Episcopal Church, First Baptist Church of Renton, St Elizabeth's Episcopal Church and Emmanuel Anglican Church.

He is survived by his sister Hazel Zimmerman. Sisters-in-law: Frances Noble, and Adelaide Zimmerman. Children: Ward Harry Zimmerman (Peggie), James V. Zimmerman (Theresa), Susan A. Dickinson (Steven), Ruth E. Brandal (Paul), Darrell L. Zimmerman, Demetria L. Zimmerman-McCullough (Eric). Honorary son: Yong Ie (Sokhaly). Former son-in-law: Adolfo Rico. Numerous grandchildren, honorary grandchildren, great-grandchildren, honorary great grandchildren, one great great grandson, nieces and nephews and 26 foster children many of whom express their continued affection for him.

A memorial is scheduled on Saturday, June 28 at the Renton Senior Activity Center, 211 Burnett Ave N, Renton, beginning at 1:00 PM.


angela yumik smith
Olympia, wa
Sep 2, 2014

Great man, very wise . Wish i could have talked to him more. Demetria I'm sorry,4515563 stay strong.

Theresa Zimmerman
Renton, WA
Jun 4, 2014

Top among Ward’s traits is his sense of humor.

In one of my first encounters with Ward in the autumn/winter during the late 1960’s I observed him in a crouched position backside to the glass, feet on the sills (not exactly in the ballet first position!), in the corner of the living room picture window which faced Lake Washington at the Rowan Road house.

He was wearing what I believe to be a Russian made hat of rabbit fur, ear flaps down, ties hanging while he was setting up his Minolta camera for a photo shoot.

As the years play out it becomes obvious to me that his genius —that ability to be mirthful amid acres of responsibility —thankfully continues to play itself out in his heirs.

Jane Erskine Gommermann
Omaha, Ne
Jun 4, 2014

I have only fond memories of Ward. He was always smiling, willing to share a story or lesson. A gentle spirit with kind eyes. I remember a New Year's Eve when he and his son, James, played trumpets to ring in the new year. May God comfort those he left behind.

Dana A. Johnson
Renton, WA
Jun 3, 2014

Mr. Zimmerman and his wife were volunteers for Lakeridge Elem. in the Renton School District. They were both so wonderful, and God now has two angels that will always watch over the children.

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.