Ollie J. Zimmerman (1906 – 1977)

     Ollie J. Zimmerman was the third son born to my great-grandfather Parker L. Zimmerman and his second wife Mollie Bollinger.  Ollie and his twin sister Dollie were born on either April 27, 1906 or April 27, 1907.  Since Ollie’s headstone says “1906”, I’m going with April 27, 1906 as his birthdate.

     In 1909, Ollie would lose his mother, when Mellie Bollinger’s skirt caught on fire during a wash day accident on December 15, 1909.  Mellie lingered on until Christmas Day 1909, when she died from her injuries.


A young Frank O. Zimmerman

     Parker was now a widower with a four children under five years old.  Mellie’s best friend Lydia Margaret “Dolly” Story moved in to help take care of the children.  A few months later, “Dolly” became Parker’s third wife. Parker and Dolly would have six more children.  My grandfather Frank Otis Zimmerman was born in 1913.

     Ollie and Frank O. would be fairly close growing up.  Frank O. probably saw Ollie more than any of his other brothers.

     Sometime before his 20th birthday, Ollie married Hattie Zimmerman.  Ollie and Hattie would have two children, Geneva (born in 1928) and Bobby (born in 1939).

     Ollie remarried in 1950 to Grace Pearl Virge, when he was 44 years old and Grace was 42.  I believe both were widowed although I cannot find a record of Hattie’s death.

     Ollie and Grace seemed to have enjoyed a happy marriage of 27 years.  Ollie passed away on February 4, 1977.  Grace passed away four months later on June 3, 1977.

     Ollie played a role in my grandparents getting married.  Grandma Zimmerman’s first husband abandoned her, when she was pregnant with my Aunt Willa.  Grandma lived in a boarding house in Cape Girardeau in the late 1930s.  Ollie owned the boarding house.

     When Grandpa Zimmerman visited his brother, he met my grandmother and they struck up a friendship.  Pretty soon they were in love and married.


Sitting on Grandma’s lap with Grandpa in the background.

     My father Ken Zimmerman, Sr. shared a birthday with his uncle as Dad was also born on April 27.  Dad used to talk about Uncle Ollie being a heavy sleeper.  Grandpa Zimmerman would wait for Ollie to take his afternoon nap,  After Ollie fell asleep, Grandpa would put a women’s hat on him or a lamp shade.  Ollie would wake up later and realize Frank O. had pulled on him again.

     Dad and my uncles picked up on it and put flowers in Uncle Ollie’s hands, etc.  Uncle Ollie would wake up and find a bouquet of flowers in his hand.  He was a good sport and would just laugh about it.

     Tragically, Ollie would outlive his younger brother by almost five years.  Frank O. died from lung cancer at only 59 years of age in late 1972.

     I’m going to take a break from writing about the family history after the next post, so I thought Uncle Ollie would be a good place to pause the Zimmerman family history.  I’ll be revising the Zimmerman Family history book over the next couple months and wanted to include all of the posts from the blog.  Take care.

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