Friday, January 9, 2009


Pin It Read, before you panic.

A local teacher passed away as the result of a tragic automobile collision on January 9, 2009. J. Zimmerman was born on September 9 in California to Mr. George Zimmerman and Kathleen Scott, he was proceeded in death by Simon, his younger brother.

“Mr. Z,” as he was affectionately known to his students, was struck by an unidentified parent while on afternoon bus duty January 9, 2009. Mr. Z had rushed into the busy intersection to the aide of one of his students who’d ventured into traffic; he was struck by an oncoming car. He sustained many injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.

Mr. Zimmerman spent much of his life in the service of the children he cared about so much; veteran teacher in his own time—though only having taught for 7 years previous to his passing. He will be missed by all. One teary-eyed student, only identified as ‘Joey,’ said: “I’ve never had a teacher give me as much homework as Mr. Z. I always complained about it, but now I’m really going to miss it.”

Mr. Z had never considered becoming a teacher while growing up; he was bound and determined to pursue a field in cinematography and movie editing. It was while he was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that he made the decision to become a teacher. Surprisingly, this decision came about when volunteering at a private Catholic school.

Upon his return to Washington State, he attended college and soon received his associates’ degree—the first member of his family to complete college. He later attended BYU and graduated with a 3.8 grade-point average. After college, Mr. Z was hired by the Provo School District and taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades for seven years. Mr. Z was very active in the after-school programs, and during his fourth year as an educator was recognized as the Provo School District Teacher of the Year. Two years later, he was acknowledged by the Milken Foundation as one of the top educators in the state of Utah.

Mr. Zimmerman had a successful photography business; and he explored many of the deserts of southern Utah. He was always on a trip someplace in the desert; sometimes he’d be gone for weeks on end, making regular calls when he had cell service to let his family and a few friends know where he was. He was able to capture the beauty of the world around him through the lens of his camera, and it was this beauty he sought to share with those he loved.

Mr. Z is survived by his parents and four siblings. Mr. Zimmerman’s services will be held on Monday, January 12, 2009 at Beesley Memorial Home. His remains will then be cremated and scattered by Rob Evans, a friend and local pilot, over the San Rafael Swell Desert, his home away from home.

Contributions, or comments, may be made in his honor on this site.

Okay, my class is currently studying the varied facets of newspapers and yesterday we dabbled into obituaries. The students were then given an assignment…they were to author their own obituary…deciding when and how they would die. While I had some students who chose to be pushed into vats of toxic acid, and others who merely fell into a slumber from which they did not awake, I decided on a more ‘heroic’ demise.

I will say this, they’d never been so excited to write something than they did last night for homework; however, I also made them a deal…I would write an obituary too. While the obituary you read above is a bit more ‘fleshed out’ than the one I shared with the class, the basic cause of death was the same.

However, rest assured…

I’m not dead.

I’m not suicidal.

I’m not dating anyone.

However, many of you have undoubtedly noticed that I hadn’t been blogging very much as of late. In this regard, one would think that I’ve been dead to the blogging world…and maybe I have…

Just know, it isn’t you…it’s me.


It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say…it’s just that…well, I haven’t felt a desire to write anything lately. Therefore, I didn’t. It’s hard to explain, really.

I am sorry if I worried any of you. I just didn’t want to write something just for the sake of writing something, you know? If I were going to blog, I wanted it to be of substance and not just another piece of fluff to encumber the Internet.

Ah, the worlds of fluff…

To those who missed me, I thank you. You made my day. Just know…I missed you too.


Danielle said...

Good hell, you're going to give someone a heart attack!!!! GRRR

Deo Volente said...

Hey, if you have to go why not go as a hero, right! However I hope God plans to leave you here for many years to come...too many Joeys would be without homework.

Stephen T said...

Are you sure you are NOT dating anyone? Could have fooled me....

MindyElias said...

I like how "death, suicidal and dating" all fall together...

Apparently those are the only three reasons you wouldn't be blogging?

Whatever the case....good to see things are back to normal.

If normal comes in the form of an obit, so be it.


Kris said...

Um Is Stephen telling us something??? I will save that obit. for later use.

Trevor Holms Petersen said...

HEY! I still remember very vividly when you took my brother and me to the cinemas, to see Twister, and you took us up to see the reels!

I'm curious how you stumbled across my tiny little blog?

It's great to be in contact with you again!

K.J. said...

Glad you're still blogging! I was thinking about finding a good book since you were slacking! I guess you are entitled to a vacation!
Good to have you back!
You were missed!
By the way..Great obituary!

Julie said...

Welcome back!

Emily said...

Jas, I'm home! Let's hang out when you get time. Serious this time. Really and truly. I also updated with vacation pictures and while not meaningful or deep, I updated. :)

annette said...

I need to tell PJ about this one! You should post some of the obituaries from your class.

Panama Jones said...

I'm honored that I have the privilege of spreading your ashes out over the San Rafael Swell. But let's not do it any time soon, ok?

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