TRAVERSE CITY — The Rev. Dr. Paul A. Zimmerman, age 95, was called to victory in his Lord, Jesus Christ, on Jan. 28, 2014, at Munson Medical Center, following a brief illness. Paul was born on June 25, 1918, the son of Albert and Hannah Zimmerman, of Danville, Ill.
He married Genevieve E. Zimmerman, also of Danville, Ill., on June 11, 1944. Genevieve preceded him in death on Dec. 20, 2010.
He is survived by daughter, Karmin J. Philp and husband, Raymond, of Traverse City; son, the Rev. Thomas P. Zimmerman and wife, Marsha, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; by grandchildren, the Rev. Dr. Paul A. Philp (Sharon), the Rev. Luke Zimmerman, Mark Zimmerman, John Zimmerman and Kristin (Steven) Carroll; and great-grandchildren, Natalie and Genevieve Philp and Jack, Owen and James Carroll.
He was a graduate of Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Ind., and of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., where he was named the Distinguished Alumnus in May of 2012. He earned a Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Illinois.
He served as professor at Bethany College, Mankato, Minn., and Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Neb. He was selected to be president of Concordia Teachers College in 1954. In July of 1961 he was selected to be the founding president of Concordia Lutheran Junior College, Ann Arbor, where he served until 1973. At Ann Arbor he was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the building of the campus, selection of faculty and recruitment of the student body. In 1973 he was selected to be president of Concordia College, River Forest, Ill., where he served until his retirement in 1983.
Beyond serving the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) as college professor and president he also served as a special assistant to two presidents of the LCMS. During his service as special assistant to Dr. Jacob Preus he was chairman of the Fact Finding Committee that investigated the doctrinal aberrations occurring at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He twice served as a consultant to Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in their accreditation process. He served as pastor of St. Luke, Harrison, from 1984 to 1989. He also served as vacancy pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Leland, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Traverse City.
He was an author and editor of several books on evolution, theology and church history. He was a lover of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and served as chairman of the LCMS Board for Missions.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 912 South Garfield Ave., Traverse City. Visitation will take place today, Jan. 30, 2014, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, and at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
Memorials may be given to the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod’s Mission Advancement Fund, 1333 S. Kirkwood, St. Louis, MO 63122; or the Concordia Theological Seminary, 6600 N. Clinton, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with the family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.