Darrell Luverne Zimmerman passed away Feb. 4, 2019 at Lake Forest Country Homes in Lake Forest, California. He was 91 years old.
Darrell was born June 6, 1927, to Oral and Wilma (Williamson) Zimmerman in Tracy, Minnesota. He graduated from Tracy High School in 1945. Darrell was an excellent athlete and loved playing sports. He lettered in three sports: 4 years in football, 4 years in track and field, and 3 years in basketball. Darrell had the honor of holding the school record for 11 letters in three sports for over 50 years.
After graduating high school he joined the Navy. He was proud to have served in the Navy for two years as Navy SP Ai/C. During his time with the Navy he played Service football at the Great Lakes Naval Station and Jacksonville Naval Base.
From 1947 – 1951 Darrell attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. His time at SDSU was impressive, lettering 4 years in football and track and field. Darrell graduated with a Bachelor in Science degree in 1951 and furthered his academic career with a Masters in Education in 1959.
Darrell married Darlene Bly in 1952. They met in Ivanhoe, Minnesota, where they were both teaching school. They had four children: Brenda, Scott, Sheri, and Rick.
Darrell, aka “Coach”, devoted his life to education and coaching for 50 years. His career included 4 high schools: Ivanhoe, MN, Atwater, MN, Farmington, MN, Millikan High School, Long Beach, CA and 4 colleges: Danna College, Valparaiso University, University of the Pacific, and Western Oregon University. He felt blessed to have coached football, basketball, cross country, track and field, wrestling and hockey.
He was inducted into 4 Hall of Fames as a coach, and was on the USA Coaches Hall of Fame ballot for 5 years. A highlight of his career was the State Department appointment to coach the Ecuador National Track Team 1968 – 1970.
In addition to coaching young athletes he officiated basketball and umpired baseball for 30 years.
Darrell was a member of the Elks Club for over 45 years. He was involved in the Clown Unit in the Garden Grove Lodge. “Zimbo” the clown loved to march in parades and often reminisced of the time they marched in the Rose Parade. He transferred to the HB Elks Lodge and actively participated in club activities, his favorite being the monthly pancake breakfasts.
His church, Grace Lutheran, was a source of spiritual strength and comfort. He was proud of the church school and was generous in his support of the excellent academic and spiritual curriculum.
The last two and a half years, Darrell lived in a beautiful board and care home in Lake Forest, CA. He received excellent loving care for which his family is truly grateful. He continued to keep current on all the sports, enjoyed watching tv and having lively conversations with his fellow home residents. His social outings each month: the Elks Pancake Breakfast, church services at Grace Lutheran, and breakfast at the Magnolia Café, added to his enjoyment of life.
Darrell lived a full and blessed life. He had the opportunity to travel extensively to many different countries and enjoyed many beautiful destinations in the USA. In his own words, “It’s been a great run. God has truly blessed me as an athlete, coach, and sports official.”
His cremains will be carried home to Tracy, Minnnesota in the Spring to his final resting place in the family plot next to his parents and grandparents.
Darrell is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his children: Brenda Adams (husband, Dan), Scott Zimmerman (wife) Wendy, Sheri Hanaway, Rick Zimmerman, grandchildren: Jamie Hanaway, Rachel Adams, Kyle Zimmerman, and Natalie Zimmerman.