Bill and Marge Zimmer wanted to make a difference. They made the decision to do something after seeing a television program about children and cancer. They saw all of the suffering, both emotional and financial that families go through when dealing with such a traumatic disease. With this in mind, they contacted the Franklin County Community Foundation to establish a fund for families in this situation. The fund will benefit families going through financial crisis due to medical difficulties caused by childhood cancer.
Originally from Sunman, Ind., Bill and Marge were married in 1947. They moved to Brookville in 1950. At that time, Bill worked for Brookville Sales and Service. He continued working for the establishment when it changed owners and became Frank Otto Farm Equipment. In 1960, after working in the business for ten years, Bill purchased it from Frank Otto and changed the name to B & L Tractor. B & L was owned and operated by Bill for thirty years. In 1990, Bill and Marge’s son, Daryl, and daughter-in-law, Gretchen, purchased what is now Zimmer tractor.
The Zimmer’s have three children. Carol Gosciniak, a nurse in Florence, Kent., Cheryl Hall, an assistant principal in Waco, Texas, and Daryl Zimmer, proprietor of Zimmer Tractor in Brookville. They also have 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. When their children were young, Marge decided that she would like to be a school teacher. She went back to school to get her teaching degree at the age of 34. Marge taught a total of twenty-five years, fourteen of which were at St. Michael’s School in Brookville. “I felt like God put me at St. Michael’s,” she said. As a special treat for her students, she would often play her accordion for them.
Bill and Marge are very active in the community. They are involved with Youth for Christ and are members of the Lutheran Church. Marge visits the local nursing home and was a member of Tri-Kappa Sorority for many years.
The Bill and Marge Zimmer Family Endowment has been established in memory of Bill’s mother and Marge’s mother. Both of them had to deal with cancer in their lifetimes. During the 2006 grant cycle, income from this endowment will provide assistance to worthy and needy children under the age of 18 who have a need for assistance as a result of cancer.