US missionary, music minister dies

Jan 2003    
The Rev Zimmerman: Well-known as a choir director. -- Methodist Message Archives picture.


THE Rev William Zimmerman passed away on Nov 13, 2002 at the age of 76. He leaves his wife, Ruth Anne, four daughters – Karen, Alisa, Deborah, Cynthia – and two grand-daughters, Hillary and Abigail.

Born on Dec 8, 1926 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Bill (as he was affectionately known) was a graduate of the Westminster Choir College (Princeton, New Jersey) and Union Theological Seminary (New York) in music education and theology.

With his wife, Ruth Anne, he served as an educational missionary of the United Methodist Church, and held appointments in Malaya, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan from 1954 to 1987, when he retired.

His earliest appointment was in 1954 as a music minister at the Klang Wesley Methodist Church; subsequently he was attached to other Methodist churches and schools in Malaya and Singapore, conducting and training choirs and holding music workshops.

From August 1981 to May 1987, the Rev Zimmerman was a lecturer in Church Music and Head of the Church Music Department at Trinity Theological College, as well as Director of the TTC Choir.

He was also interim Chorus Master of the Singapore Symphony Chorus from September 1983 to May 1984.
From July 1992 to May 1993, he returned to TTC for the academic year for which the then Principal, Dr John Chew, thanked him for his valuable help.

On returning to the United States, he continued his ministry and served as Minister of Music for the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City and the Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver, Colorado. He was also choir director for churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Boulder, Colorado.

A memorial service was held on Nov 23, 2002 in Denver.


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