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Originally published: 2012-12-26 12:25:32
Last modified: 2012-12-26 12:25:32

Phillip King Zimmerman

Phillip King Zimmerman, 88, of Thomasville, Ga., died there on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012.

He was born in Dunedin, Fla., on Dec. 13, 1924, to Marie Morris Zimmerman and Porter Zimmerman. A fourth-generation Floridian, he lived in Pinellas County most of his life. He joined the Navy in 1942 and served on several ships in the Pacific during WWII, most memorably the USS Boston. By 1945, he was a Signalman First Class on Admiral Wiltse’s staff. He was involved in a number of engagements in the Pacific and witnessed the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. When he returned home from the war, he attended the University of Tampa, and within a few months met Grace Dana Harris. They married on Sept. 1, 1946, and Zimmerman went into partnership with her father in the lumber business. He later founded another company, Gas’n’Sav, from which he retired in 1982.

As a young businessman, he developed an interest in state politics. He was active in several campaigns and was a member of Gov. Leroy Collins’s Industrial Commission. He also served on the boards of several banks. Zimmerman believed strongly in education and helped a number of young people go to college. An avid golfer, he was a founder of the Cypress Run Golf Club in Tarpon Springs. He was an accomplished pilot and an enthusiastic traveler. He especially enjoyed his summer homes in Black Mountain and Newland, N.C., and the Costa Rican fern farm of which he was part owner.

Zimmerman is survived by his wife of 66 years, Dana; three daughters, Julia Zimmerman (Thomas Schmick), Dana Lipsey (Les Lipsey), and Phyllis Zimmerman; two grandchildren, Phillip Daniel Meade and Maria Lee Meade; and a brother, the Rev. Eugene Zimmerman.

Services were held 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at the First United Methodist Church in Tarpon Springs, Fla. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church in Tarpon Springs, 501 E. Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, or the charity of your choice.

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