September 3, 1945 – January 20, 2020
Joseph Paschal Zimmer, age 74, of Grants Pass, Oregon, passed away from cancer on January 20, 2020. His memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on February 8, 2020 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 900 NE A St., Grants Pass, Oregon. A reception will follow the service at Calvary. Joe was born on September 3, 1945, to Theodore Zimmer and Dorothy Catherine Plourde Zimmer at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. He was the third of five children born to Ted and Dorothy. Joe’s middle name was the name his father was known by while a monk in the Capuchin order for ten years prior to leaving the order then meeting Dorothy. Joe was raised Catholic and attended St. Mary’s Catholic
School in Royal Oak, Michigan for twelve years. He graduated in 1963 from a class of 65 members. Joe was the Salutatorian and sang “No Man is an Island” at the graduation. Following graduation, Joe entered Sacred Heart Seminary with intentions of becoming a priest. After two years, he left the seminary and the church. He continued his education at Wayne State University in Detroit, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Following graduation, he made a trip to California where he met his future wife, Susan DeRohan. After a cross country courtship, they married and moved to Madison, Wisconsin where Joe attended the University of Wisconsin earning a Master’s degree in Chemistry in 1970. Following graduation, Joe and Susan returned to California where Joe found work in the Los Angeles area. Shortly after, Joe joined with several others at work who branched out on their own to start their own laboratory, Western Analytical Laboratories, in Chino, California. Their son, Matthew Constant Zimmer, was born in December, 1971. Joe and Susan dissolved the marriage in 1979. In 1985, Joe married Crystal Hoefer Wood who had one son, Jack Wood, born in 1974. Joe and Crystal lived in Chino, California until 2008. They enjoyed traveling and square dancing. Joe was also involved in Indian Guides with Matthew and Boy Scouts with Jack, as well as E Clampus Vitus. In 1995, Joe joined Christ Lutheran Church where Crystal was a member. He was active at church and Lutheran Cursillo of Southern California. In 2008, Joe and Crystal moved to Grants Pass, Oregon. Joe continued as a partner at Western Analytical, working two weeks in California and two weeks in Oregon until 2014 when he retired. He and Crystal were active at Calvary Lutheran Church, the Charlie Brown Squares and worked at establishing Via de Cristo retreats in southern Oregon. Joe is survived by his wife Crystal of Grants Pass, OR.; sons Matthew & Brenda (Laguna) of Mission Viejo, CA and Jack & Cari (Newman) of Yorba Linda, CA; sisters Christyann & Gar Wood of Sturgis, MI, Paula Zimmer of Madison Heights, MI, Mary and Bob Lenaway of Ferndale, MI; brother Dan Zimmer of Madison Heights, MI; father-in-law Gordon Hoefer of Grants Pass, OR; brother-in-law Chuck & Gretchen (Bisbing) of Vista, CA; grandsons Aaron Zimmer of Mission Viejo, CA and Dustin Wood of Yorba Linda; granddaughter Audrey Zimmer of
Mission Viejo and numerous nieces and nephews. Joe was preceded in death by his parents Theodore and Dorothy Zimmer of Royal Oak, MI; his mother-in-law Ernestine Hoefer of Grants Pass, OR; his brothers-in-law Reid Hoefer of Hurley, NM and David Zaffina of Madison Heights, MI. Joe requested that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Calvary Lutheran Relay for Life.