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Zimmer, Bernice, 1916-2012



  • Existence: 1916 - 2010


Bernadette "Bernice" Meyer Zimmer, wife, mother, and active member of the Catholic Church, was born in Le Mars, Iowa, on March 19, 1916. She was born prematurely and her mother, Ann Schlitz Meyer, died during childbirth. Her mother wanted to name her daughter Bernice, but the priest who baptized her did not approve because Bernice is not a saint's name and thus was baptized Bernadette. Because Zimmer's father Louis Meyer was a travelling salesman, she was raised by her grandparents Margaret and Peter Schlitz in Remsen, Iowa. Louis Meyer and Zimmer remained close throughout his life; she visited him and his new wife and family frequently in Le Mars and later went to see him in California. Meyer graduated from St. Mary's Catholic School in May 1933 and first met her husband Louis "Lou" Zimmer from Le Mars that summer. She wanted to be a hairdresser, but stayed home to take care of her grandparents. Meyer enjoyed attending dances and watching local softball games where she and Lou Zimmer often met. They married on August 17, 1935, and lived with Zimmer's grandparents in Remsen. Zimmer and Lou Zimmer spent the first decade of their marriage practically apart because he had to commute to a job with Gamble Stores in South Dakota and then Sioux City and later he served in the US Army during WWII. The Zimmers moved around Iowa finally settling in Jefferson and opened up a paint and glass store in 1960. Zimmer was very involved in her husband's business and wrote frequently about tallying accounts and assisting him on several jobs. After Lou Zimmer suffered a heart attack in 1977, the two decided to travel extensively and from 1977-1982 they drove to Arizona, California, Idaho, and back to Iowa staying with friends and family. They spent the next five years back in Jefferson doing odd painting jobs together until Lou Zimmer died on September 22, 1987. Throughout her life, Zimmer was devoted to her family and the Catholic Church. She died in 2010.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Bernice Zimmer papers

Identifier: IWA0876

Diaries of an Iowa woman.

Dates: 1932-2010