The Rev. Ms. Mary Zimmerman passed away on Sunday, November 4, 2018 surrounded by her family. She was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer only three weeks before her death. Mary is survived by her husband, Rev. Roger W. Zimmerman; her son, Mark Zimmerman and his wife Robin of Lynchburg, VA; her daughters, Kathryn Zimmerman and her husband Jeff Fligelman of Redding, CT, and Mary Beth Whittle and her husband John of Louisville, KY; her grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Agawam High School, Mary earned her BS degree from Boston University and continued her education and academic accomplishments at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Union Theological Seminary, and Andover Newton Theological School where she received her Master’s of Religious Education. In 1975, she was ordained as a minister within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and later received training and accreditation as a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Mary impacted many people through her life’s vocation as a minister, Christian educator, and Pastoral counselor, and she and Roger enjoyed serving together at several churches during their ministerial careers.
Mary ministered to churches in Newton Centre, MA; Washington D.C.; Bloomington, IL; Corvallis, OR; Louisville, KY; and Lynchburg, VA. Mary was an avid reader and Scrabble player, talented on the piano, and known for her extraordinary gift of giving children’s sermons in worship. Being ordained as a woman in 1975 set her apart as a trailblazer within the clergy, but her greatest contributions were as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and loyal and dedicated friend to many.
A celebration of Mary’s life was held on Friday November 9, 2018 at 11:00 am at First Congregational Church, 18 Broad Street, Westfield, MA. A private interment will be held at Otis Center Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name can be made to First Congregational Church, WARM (Welcoming Assistance Refugee Ministries), 18 Broad Street, Westfield, MA 01085. For more information or to leave a condolence for the family please visit: www.forastiere.com.
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