Winifred ‘Winnie’ Zimmer

By on November 25, 2009

Winifred “Winnie” Zimmer, 85, of Virgil, passed away Saturday morning, Nov. 21, 2009, at Meadowbrook Care Center, Naperville, Ill., where she had recently become a resident and was battling cancer.

She was born April 25, 1924, near Steward, Ill., the daughter of Marguerite (O’Donnell) and Irvin Herrmann.

She grew up on the family farm the fourth of 11 children.

Following graduation from Shabbona Community High School, Winnie went on to become a registered nurse, graduating from St. Charles Hospital School of Nursing in Aurora with the class of 1947.

On June 19, 1948, she was united in marriage to Joseph G. “Jeff” Zimmer in Columbus, Ohio. They made their home in Virgil, where they were blessed with six children.

Winnie was employed at Sycamore Hospital for many years until the late ‘60s, when her nursing “ministry” became more focused on home and community nursing. In many ways, Winnie was the Virgil community “health department.” Whenever the misfortune of accident or illness occurred, the first person people called was Winnie. Her demeanor was always straightforward, but her heart was filled with love and never was there a road too long or a hill too high when you called her name.

For many years, she helped Conley Ambulance in countless ways and was highly respected among area physicians. In spite of her many responsibilities, somehow dinner was always on the table, even if she was headed out the door to help someone else before her family could sit down to enjoy the meal.

She is survived by six children, their children and families, Larry (Susan) Zimmer of Maple Park, and their family, Bart Zimmer and his children, Corey, Haley and Tyler, Sarah (Rob) Orth and Jeremy Zimmer; Patricia Zimmer of Miami, Fla.; Virginia (Ken) Stewart of Glendale Heights, Ill., and their family, Elizabeth Stewart and her son, Ethan, Rebecca (Mark Morozink) Stewart; Janet (Joel) Beck of Sandwich, Ill., and their family, Aaron (Teresa) Calhoon (and his two sons, Logan and Brandon) Lynn Calhoon; Diane LaFan of Aurora, and her family, Kendra Flowers and Jared Flowers (and his son, Bryce); Dann (Kathy) Zimmer of St. Charles, and their family, Robby and Margaret; six siblings, Leon Herrmann of Lincoln, Neb., Joyce Clinton of San Diego, Calif., Paul Herrmann of Shabbona, Ill., Thomas Herrmann of DeKalb, Ill., William (Linda) Herrmann of DeKalb, Ill., Irvin (Janie) Herrmann of Dayton, Ohio; one sister-in-law, Margaret Seisser of Jefferson, Wis., as well as many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Joseph, she is preceded in death by two sisters, Madaline Barnes and Helen Inskeep; and two brothers, Joseph and Chester Herrmann.

Visitation will be held at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, on Sunday, Nov. 29, from noon to 3:30 p.m., with funeral services to follow at 4 p.m. Winnie’s long time friend and pastor, the Rev. George Williamson, will officiate. Following cremation, interment will conclude at S.S. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Virgil.

A memorial in her name has been established to benefit diabetes research, among others. Memorials in her memory may be mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through