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Otto R. Zimmermann
June 1926 July 2010
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Otto R. Zimmermann, 84, of Modesto, passed away at Alexander Cohen Hospice House after an extended illness. Otto was born in Lodi on June 3, 1926 to William and Anna Zimmermann. He lived most of his life in the Central Valley. After graduating from Lodi High School, he went on to study watchmaking and later, gemology. Otto graduated from the Strutz School of Watchmaking in Sacramento and became the first Certified Gemologist-Appraiser with the American Gem Society in the Central Valley. Near the end of WW II, he also served a time in the Army before receiving an early honorable discharge from the military.  
On July 23, 1947, he married Catherine Sue Brandon and they moved to Vallejo for a short time. While there he got his start in the watchmaking business. During that time he and Sue also started their family. In 1953, they moved to Modesto where Otto worked at Shoemake’s Jewelers. After working at Shoemake’s for many years, the Zimmermanns became co-owners of the store with Jack and Joy Ulrich.  
Otto was active in the community as a member of the 20-30 Club, the North Modesto Rotary Club, the American Gem Society, Spring Creek Golf & Country Club, Sportsmen of Stanislaus, and the YMCA, Y-Indian Guides. He donated time at local high schools teaching etiquette to home economics students. Otto taught the high school Bible class at Grace Lutheran Church for many years. He also served as Church Council secretary and later as chair of the Lay Ministry team. At Calvary Lutheran Church he served in many of the same jobs. He enjoyed competitive rifle shooting, trap shooting, golf and bowling. Later in life Otto was active in SIRS. Though he stayed very active in the community, Otto loved spending time with his family.
He is survived by children, Catherine (Gaylan) King of Modesto, Cynthia (Robert) Shaw of Turlock, Christina (Scott) Landrum of Modesto and Curt (Brenda) Zimmermann of Glendora; sister, Grace (Bill) Reynolds of Lodi; eight grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a large extended family. Otto was preceded in death by his son, Carl; his beloved wife, Sue; brothers, Herman, Fred and William; and sisters, Elizabeth and Gertrude.
Otto’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 31 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 547 Rose Ave., Modesto, CA 95355.
Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Lutheran Church or Grace Lutheran Church of Modesto.
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