MOSS POINT, MS - Lawrence E. Zimmerman, a.k.a ZEKE (I COULDN'T LIVE LIKE THAT), formerly of Grafton, passed away after a healthy, long and loving life of 95 years, on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at the Veterans Home in Collins, Mississippi.
He was born on November 24, 1927 to Nathan and Dolly (Whaley) of Grafton, Illinois.
Larry had a very long life of funny stories and experiences that only some of us can imagine living. He was a devoted husband to Peggy (Main) Zimmerman for 24 years and his world changed in an instant when she passed March 18, 1996.
Larry served his country in the United States Navy from December 2, 1944 – May 14, 1946 and was assigned to the USS Truxton, and later to the USS Missouri. He was 17 years old when enlisted in St. Louis, Missouri and made the rank of Seaman 1 class. He drove the Higgins Boat up to the beaches and was part of a crew that retrieved the remains of fallen heroes during battle. He trained in Norfolk, Virginia and was in the Panama Canal on board the USS Truxton, ready to head into battle when the Japanese surrendered ending the war. His medals are: Point System, Victory Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Medal, Great Area Campaign Medal, & Honorable Service USNR Discharge Button. He served in Foreign and Sea Service World War II.
After serving his country, Larry came home and started working at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois at the horse stables because he has always had a great love for horses. He later worked for the Western Cartridge's for several years and he was a marksman shooter. Once he left Western Cartridge, he and his wife moved to Tennessee to train thoroughbred horses for several years. With this experience, he was led to New Orleans to train thoroughbred horses there. As the years went by, the training began to take a toll on his body. He and Peggy moved to Mississippi, where he began working for Ingalls ship yard is Pascagoula, Mississippi. During his employment with the ship yard, he once again got to see the USS Truxton from his Navy days. He was a security guard from 1967 to 1990 when he retired.
Larry had received his pilot license at a young age and he and his brother, Claud, bought small planes and would fly around in Mississippi. He had a great love for CB’s and he went by the handle of Ragin Cagin. He would talk to people all over the world, as we all know he had a gift for gab.
Larry and Peggy loved to travel and they would just show up at your house unexpected with their camper, stay a few days and all of a sudden they would be gone in the morning. They were free to do whatever they wanted, and after his retirement the two of them made so many memories that only some of us could dream of.
Over 95 years, Larry made many friends and has a huge family that just kept growing and filled his life with laughter and memories. He had stories that would keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what happened next. His love of traveling and fishing and inventing gadgets, like flying a kite with his fishing pole as an example, were just a few of the things that made his life complete.
Larry is survived by a son, Larry “Z MAN” Zimmerman of Dow, Illinois and a daughter Cynthia (Dallas) Potts of Smithboro, Illinois.
He had 22 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; 19 great-great grandchildren and 1 great-great-great grandchild.
Preceding him in death was his parents and his mother and father in-law; his wife; his daughter and son in-law, Mary and Gary Legate; His daughter, Patricia Zimmerman; His daughter in- law, Kathy Zimmerman; His brother and sister in-law, Claude and Elenore Zimmerman; His half brother, Charlie Zimmerman; his half sister, Mae Phorney.
Visitation will be on Friday, May 5, 2023 from 10 a.m. until time of Funeral Services at 11 a.m. at the Heritage Funeral Home, 9721 Highway 63, Moss Point, Mississippi, 39562. He will be laid to rest buried next to his wife, Peggy, at the Serene Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Moss Point, Mississippi with military honors.
A celebration of life will be held at the American Legion in Grafton, Illinois, with Military honors, on Sunday, June 25, 2023 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
Fair winds and Following Seas to, "The second fastest gunslinger in MS!"
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lawrence E Zimmerman, please visit our floral store.