SAMUEL D. ZIMMERLY, JR.
September 22, 1929 ˜ May 18, 2019
Samuel D. Zimmerly, Jr., 89, of Ridgefield, WA, passed away on Sat., May 18, 2019 after a long battle with cancer. But cancer couldn’t dim his smile and what a smile it was!
Sam was the first of ten siblings, born on Sept. 22, 1929 to Samuel and Helen Zimmerly and grew up in Ridgefield, and graduated from Ridgefield High School.
Sam was a man who fought like hell his whole life. He worked hard to get to where he was, and he seldom took no for an answer. Sure, he was stubborn at times, but he was also one of the kindest people you could ever know. Sam, our endearing grandpa, faithful husband and supporting father put his trust in the Lord and endured.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Sam married Charlotte Fendall and they were blessed with three children: Don, Linda and Janice.
While raising his children, he carved out roads and created infrastructure working as a heavy equipment operator. This experience would lead Sam into his own excavating business.
Sam married Charlotte Phillips Smythe in 1968 and instantly became the stepfather to Debbie, Becky and John. The expanded family enjoyed camping, church functions, trips to the beach and National Parks, and decorating for Christmas.
Sam and Charlotte became real estate investors and were landlords of numerous properties. The couple was blessed to have the opportunity to travel internationally, enjoying extensive safaris in Africa and trips to China, Central America and Europe. One of their favorite activities was going on cruises. The Kilauea Volcano Hotline number was taped by this phone to enable his obsession with hot flowing magma. Sam was known to check the hotline and if activity was high, he would be booking his flight to Hawaii.
After forty-two memorable years of marriage, Sam found himself a widower in early 2011. He began the final chapter of his life when he married Donna Estes on May 12, 2012. Donna and her four grown children: Chris, Coral, Lois, Ray, and their respective families added great dimension to Sam’s life. Sam and Donna traveled to Europe and Hawaii and spent time visiting family. They spent hours worshipping the Lord and serving Him as they served the community around them. Throughout his journey on Earth, Sam enjoyed many things; hunting, traveling, beach time, NASCAR, photography, practical jokes and scaring people, shopping, getting a good deal, estate and yard sales, buffets, meat and potatoes, watching movies, playing with his puppy, Mocha, and above all, his family and friends.
Sam has left this world a better place for all of us. He has left an imprint on our hearts and mind, and we are grateful to him for it all.
Sam is survived by his wife, Donna; daughter, Janice; mother of his children and former spouse, Charlotte Fendall; stepchildren, Debbie, Becky, and John; his brother, Glen; sisters, Helen, Dorothy, Mary, Martha, and Donna; many cherished grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and a crowd of family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Don; daughter, Linda; his beloved former wife, Charlotte Phillips Smythe Zimmerly; and three younger brothers, Paul, Dan, and Roy.
A Celebration of Life is being planned for late June.
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Published in The Columbian on May 26, 2019.