Jason Fredrick Zimmerman was born Sept. 9, 1970 in San Francisco, Calif.,, to George D. Zimmerman and Kathleen Scott. He died at the age of 41, Saturday morning, Aug. 11, 2012, at his father’s home in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Some of you will recognize his name. Maybe he was a childhood friend, a high-school crush, a college roommate, peer, or fellow teacher. Maybe he was your teacher.
Others, for whom this name does not bring immediate recognition or a flood of memories, will likely move on — possibly not even making it as far as this sentence. But to those of us who knew him, he was a phenomenal teacher, an inspiring mentor, a worthy and idolized role model, an adventurous travel companion. He was a champion of students. A brother. A friend.
He grew up in the Northwest, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. Louis, Mo.; and, in 2000, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in elementary education. He was the first in his family to complete college.
In the 12 years since graduating from BYU, he taught third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades in the Provo School District, worked countless volunteer hours in after-school and out-of-the-classroom programs, graduated with a master’s degree in technology, and received numerous awards honoring his ability and passion for teaching.
He fostered a comfortable learning environment where students felt good about themselves, were motivated to succeed, gained an appreciation for hard work, were inspired to learn — and had fun doing it. Teaching, nurturing and encouraging were his passion.
Jason was an avid and talented photographer. His ability to both see and capture the beauty around him with his camera was only matched by his inherent knack for doing the same with the people he met.
The lonely deserts of southern Utah and forgotten back roads of nowhere were his safe haven. He documented his adventures in photography and poetic prose-much of which he would post for the world to see and read on his blog.
As a teacher and mentor, Jason taught us to see no limits to our potential. As a friend, he loved unconditionally. His influence will forever be felt in the lives of those who are better, wiser and kinder for having known him.
Jason was preceded in death by a younger brother, Simon, who died at birth July 1, 1988; and by his mother, Arlene Zimmerman, who died at the age of 64 after a long battle to cancer only three years ago last month.
He is survived by his father, George Zimmerman and his wife; his mother, Kathleen Roesler and her husband; and his siblings, Shawna Gregg, Yancy Zimmerman, Miya Edwards, and Lucie Zimmerman.
Services for the family will be held Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, at Coffelt Funeral Home, 109 N. Division Ave., Sandpoint, ID, 83864. The viewing will be 10-11 a.m. and the funeral at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Pack River Cemetery.
Utah memorial details to follow.
Family and friends are invited to sign Jason’s online guestbook at www.coffeltfuneral.com.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Coffelt Funeral Service of Sandpoint.