TRA Co-Founder Jerry Zimmerman (9/21/30) – (9/23/16)

jerry_joeann_zimmermanGerald “Jerry” Zimmerman, age 86,  of Centerburg passed away Friday, September 23, 2016, at Knox Community Hospital surrounded by his family.

He was born on September 21, 1930 in Strasburg, Ohio to the late Wilber and Ida (Johnson) Zimmerman.  A proud veteran of the US Air Force, it was during his service to Country that he met Joe Ann Bonnette.  They were married in 1955 and shared 61 wonderful years, raising a family, building a home and living in a number of locations throughout Jerry’s career.  

He first worked with North American Rockwell on the Vigilante and OV-10 programs, followed by working with NASA on the Apollo Program.  Jerry was in charge of the command module of Apollo I at Kennedy Space Center.  He returned to Columbus and worked with the B-1 and Space Shuttle programs while at Rockwell before retiring. Never with idle hands, he worked as a plumber, electrician, welder and mason.  He was often asked for advice due to his vast and deep knowledge of repairing anything. He worked hard to support his family and in every endeavor.  A true perfectionist at heart, he always stayed on a project until it was completed.

With his love of the automobile, his passion led him to being a co-founder of the Triumph Register of America (TRA).  Jerry relished in the comradery and fellowship of the club, which centered on TR2, 3 and 4 models. Jerry’s favorite was his restored red 1956 TR3. A daredevil in his younger years, Jerry enjoyed everything from roller skating to car racing.

He was a dedicated member of the Centerburg Church of Christ and enjoyed the Thursday study group. Caring and generous, he was also an avid fan of the Buckeyes. Jerry was at his best tinkering on a project, attending church or taking in the peaceful view from his backyard deck.  Forever the dedicated husband, he was a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He was very proud of his children’s accomplishments. Those left to cherish his memory include his beloved wife Joe Ann, children : Jeffrey Zimmerman (Kristina Carton) of Groveport, Jay Zimmerman (Tia Raver) of Reynoldsburg, Jamie (Debbie) Zimmerman of Gahanna, Jodi Zimmerman (John Holcomb) of Centerburg, 7 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, brothers: Wilbur “Skip” (Sarah), Steve (Sue), Stan (Bonnie), Bob (Pam) McCoy, Dick (Pat) McCoy, sisters: Leonia Smith, Debbie (Terry) Cook, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.He was also preceded in death by brother Don Zimmerman.

Friends may call 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, 6378 N. St. Rt. 61, Sunbury, where services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. Burial will follow in Forest Lawn Memory Garden afterwards a luncheon will be provided at the Centerburg Church of Christ.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Centerburg Church of Christ. Condolences may be expressed at



TRA_#128cover2RacingTriumphsPreview of TRA National Newsletter
Dec/Jan 2015, Issue#128

Bob Johns was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and began working in his father’s auto repair shop at the age of twelve, which fueled his interest in racing. By age nineteen, he was full-fledged, fast-car crazy. In fact, he attended the last two original-course races at Watkins Glen in 1951 and 1952. These races instilled in him the auto racing fever, which had to be satiated. “Watkins Glen, aka ‘The Glen’ is located near the town of Watkins Glen, New York, on the southern tip of Seneca Lake. Initially, the 6.6-mile course used public roads driving through the heart of the village with spectators lining the sidewalks. After a car left the road in the 1952 race killing one spectator and injuring several others, the race was relocated to a hilltop southwest of town. In 1956 a permanent circuit for the race was built. The track has been home to road racing of nearly every class, including Formula 1, The World Sportscar Championship, Trans-Am, Can-Am, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IndyCar Series.  

Read more in the TRA National Newsletter Issue# 128.  
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