Betty Jane Zimmerman, the daughter of Robert Andrew and Florence Mae (Lemke) Welch, was born on November 30, 1921, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She moved to Harlan, Iowa, with her family in 1929, to assist in running the Lemke Dry Goods store. She attended Laurel Elementary School and Harlan High School, graduating with the Class of 1939. Betty studied Normal Training at the Iowa Teachers College (University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls, Iowa. On April 28, 1944, she married Glenn Wilson Zimmerman in Harlan. In addition to raising her three children, Betty taught country school and worked in the school system for 30 years. She was head caterer at Mickel’s Restaurant for 35 years. She retired in 1988. Betty became a resident of the Elm Crest Retirement Community on December 20, 2001.
Betty was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ, the Priscillas Society, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Myrtue Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She was also active at the Harlan Senior Center. Betty enjoyed helping others, making crafts, and baking cakes for weddings and other special occasions. She also liked to paint, crochet, and play cards.
Betty J. Zimmerman died on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa, at the age of 82 years, 11 months, and 3 days.
Preceding Betty in death were her parents and two sisters, Grace Sleister and Marjorie Gaer. Survivors include her husband, Glenn Zimmerman of Harlan, Iowa; two sons, Jim (Rhonda) Zimmerman of Omaha, Nebraska, and Dick (Kim) Zimmerman of Cedar Falls, Iowa; one daughter, Carol (Steve) Sidwell of Cordova, Illinois; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Friday, November 5, 2004, at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Harlan, Iowa, with Rev. Donna Ewert officiating. Freda Boeck served as the organist. Casket bearers were Amy and Clint Jensen, Kelly Zimmerman and his fiancée, Amy Petersen, Rachelle and Grant Dess, Ryan Zimmerman, Steve Sidwell, and Verle Doonan. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.