Elbridge Carl Zimmerman

Birth Date: 
Wednesday, March 30, 1932
Date of Passing: 
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Elbridge Carl Zimmerman, 88, of Wooster, OH died at home on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, after being in Hospice Care for a month at home.

Elbridge, better known as Carl to his friends and Elb to family, was born on March 30, 1932, in Brunswick, OH, to Carl and Josephine (Lytle) Zimmerman. He graduated from Brunswick High School in 1950, then The College of Wooster in 1954, with a B.A. in Physics. He received his M.S. from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1962. Later, he attended the University of Michigan and was awarded a certificate from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) from Purdue University in 1971.

While at The College of Wooster, he met his future wife, Marlene Fray. They wed on August 25, 1956, in Steubenville, Ohio and raised three children together.

His teaching career started at Amherst College where he was a graduate assistant before returning to Brunswick High School to teach math and physics. He then taught one year at Dalton High School in Wayne County, Ohio.  After that he worked as a civilian at the U.S. Naval Air Turbine Test Station, Aeronautical Turbine Laboratory in Trenton, NJ for ten years. He then worked as a Systems Engineer for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI.

In the fall of 1968, he joined The College of Wooster as its first Director of Academic Computer Services. It was there hed do his lifes work. In May 1969, he wondered in the Wooster alumni magazine, How Much Are We Decision Making by Computer?”—a question still relevant to this day. He went on to make the case for computersrelevance to liberal arts.

During his 28-year tenure, he established the colleges first academic computer center and designed its first computer science curriculum. He published many papers related to the field of computer science. Most notably, he co-authored and published a once-ubiquitous college textbook, Primer on Pascal,” in 1976. (During the late 1970s and 80s, Pascal was one of the most widely used languages for computer programming instruction.) Carl retired from his directorship in 1994 but stayed on to teach computer science for two more years.

Over the years Carl was a member of both Westminster Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church. A lover of classical music and the choral arts, he lent his beautiful tenor voice to various choirs for many years. He sang under Robert Shaw and performed on stage with future opera star Erie Mills while she was a student at the College.

Carl is survived by his wife, Marlene; his son, Barry (Grandview Hts., OH), and daughter, Susan (Wooster); his grandchildren, Julianne and David; and Kelvin Housekeeper-Zimmerman and Khristopher Zimmerman; his sister, Molly Governs (Las Vegas, NV). He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffrey, and his brother, Hugh in 2005.

Memorial services for Carl will be held at a later date.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com



Memorial services will be held at a later date.


So sorry for your loss Notified by Molly. Please contact me at 3304160100 for further information
Nola Lowther
3425 forest lake drive Medina 44256,

Susan - My deepest sympathies extend to you and your family during this time of loss. Your Dad seems like he was an amazing guy and I know you will truly miss him.

Marlene and Family: Please accept our sincere sympathy. Will miss seeing the two of you walking in the neighborhood. I always enjoyed working with Carl and you and will continue to hold you in my thoughts.

Dear Marlene,
We are sorry for your loss. Carl was kind and helpful, knowledgeable, a great tenor. And you two were a wonderful pair walking all over town. Sending love and prayers.
Linda and Dave

Susan and Erwin Riedner send our sincere condolences to the Zimmerman family. We will miss seeing Carl walking in the neighborhood with Marlene, and we will miss chatting when the four of us met as they walked by our house.

Susan, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Hold fast to your memories and know many people are thinking and praying for you and your family.

I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Zimmerman's passing. I know how much his niece (and my dear friend, Cy) loved visiting him and her Aunt Marlene. Through our conversations, it was abundantly clear that he was a great uncle, but I was so impressed by his many academic and musical accomplishments!! I am thinking of all the Zimmermans during this difficult time.

So many, including me, send concern and love to Susan and you. My heart still holds places for both Carl and you in the choir.

Dear Marlene and family, we send our sincere condolences to you all on Carl's passing. It was our honor and pleasure to work with Carl during our time in Wooster and at the College. His impact on computing and computer science at Wooster has been enormous and will be very long-lasting, as will his impact as a friend to so many. We will remember him with warmth and gratitude.

I am saddened to hear of Carl's passing. Please accept my deepest condolences.

My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Uncle Elb, I love you very much. When I graduated from high school, you flew all the way from Ohio (to Hawai'i) as a surprise. I had lost a contact and was called up to the stage for an award. I looked up in the bleachers and thought I saw you. "It couldn't be..." Thank God I didn't have both contacts in--I would have run into the bleachers to hug you!

When I graduated from college, you drove down and ended up with the thankless and horrendous task of helping me clean out my townhouse.

When I got married in Vegas, you (again) flew there and became embroiled in a covert operation to surprise us with our undoubtedly favorite wedding present (the family quilt that Aunt Marlene made--they're pictured in front of it below).

Since my dad died, you were there to advise and celebrate me. I can never articulate my gratitude. You inspired me to embrace my love of classical music and to not fear technology. Thank you for all these things and more.

I love you and will miss you. It was a great honor to help write this celebration of you. My deepest sympathies to Aunt Marlene, Susan, and Barry.

My deepest sympathy and love to Aunt Marlene, Susan and Barry. I loved Uncle Elb, and greatly enjoyed our annual visits. Some of the most fulfilling times I've had in recent years have been our trips where we would sit around and talk for ours and and "do nothing". Those are moments that I will really miss.

Today there is an indescribable amount of grief after losing my father. Losing a father often means losing a protector, a guiding hand, a best friend, and a superhero. He was all those things to me. I am focusing on all the incredible memories I shared and the amazing man he was helps me bring light into this dark day. I am so grateful to have had him this long. I am grateful that he was not only a part of my life but my kids lives as well.

Many of you may have met him over the years. Please take a moment, and say a prayer.
I love you Dad, rest in peace.

My sympathy to Marlene and family. I never met Carl but heard about him through Marlene. I know he went through a lot the last few years. Rest in peace.

Dear Marlene, Susan, and Barry,
I have many great memories working with Carl at the College. He was a gentle soul and was very enjoyable to work with. So sorry for your loss! My prayers are with you. Blessings to you all. Julie

Condolences to you Barry, Susan & Marlene

Our neighbors for many yrs.

I was student of Mr. Zimmerman's in the 70's. I always remembered him as I launched my career in programming in the 80's and 90's. I saw his death notice in the alumni magazine. I am sorry for your loss and your family will be in my prayers.

I was a student of Mr. Zimmerman in the 70's. I saw the notice of his death in the alumni magazine. I thought kindly of Mr. Zimmerman as I launched my career as a programmer in the 80's. I am sorry for your loss. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers

I just stumbled upon the mention of Professor Zimmerman's passing and wanted to share how he played a key role in my "good fortune."

I came to Wooster in 1979 intent on eventually heading to "Wall St," and I planned on transferring after my freshman year to a school that I thought might better position me for such a career. I planned to double-major in Economics and Mathematics (until I ran into the wonderful, but very demanding, Dr Melcher Fobes) for Calculus I, II and III, the last of which convinced me to settle for a Math minor instead. I decided early on that Wooster was a great fit for me, after all, so I didn't transfer and I told myself that "I'd figure out how to get to Wall St. later."

I suspected that knowing something about computers would likely be helpful in business, but I was not a "pocket protector" geek and would have never had the patience to feed and correct "batch cards" being fed into a reader to transmit simple programs to the Batelle Institute for processing, only to have the printer constantly report back that my program needed further fixing, so I avoided this new department that Professor Zimmerman had recently started. However, by late Freshman or early Sophomore year, someone excitedly told me to "come check out the computer lab!", so I reluctantly did. There were these new pieces of equipment -- "a TV, a typewriter and a box that connected them with a "floppy disc"that would slide in and out of the box." When you typed a character on the typewriter, it instantly appeared on the TV. It was wild and I was hooked. They were finally going to make it easy for the idiots, like me. Professor Zimmerman introduced me to the personal computer and it changed the trajectory of my entire professional life.

I took all six Computer Science courses he offered (he WAS the Computer Science department, part of the Mathematics department, at that time), including "Machine Language." Everything else was taught in PASCAL. I soaked it up and I graduated with a double-minor (Comp Sci was not a major at that time) in Math and Comp Sci in 1983.

Then, Professor Zimmerman played another key role in my professional development. In my senior year, I had applied to a number of MBA programs, the best of which was Cornell's, but I knew that I could not afford to actually attend any of them without first earning the money to do so over a few years. I happened to be chatting with Professor Zimmerman, who I thought the world of, about where I had applied. He said, "If you get into Cornell, let me know. I co-wrote "A Primer on PASCAL" with Drs Conway and Gries up there, and I could try to see if they have any TA openings for you." (He also assured me that PASCAL and PL1, which was developed, and is taught, at Cornell, are virtually identical.) I did and I did, and then he did, and, miraculously, they did. So, I traveled to Ithaca to interview with with Conway and Gries, who jointly ran the Computer Science department in the College of Engineering at Cornell. As luck would have it, there was one spot they needed to fill that none of their PhD students needed, so I got the job. I enjoyed the job, where I was the only one of four TA's to actually interact with students -- teaching recitations and tutoring -- more than the MBA itself. Most importantly, it completely paid my way through business school, enabling me to do something I would have otherwise had to postpone. Cornell became my "launchpad" to Wall St and that would not have happened without Professor Zimmerman's help. I went from Cornell to JP Morgan (yes, literally, at that time, on the corner of Wall St and Broad Street), and I have enjoyed a "Forest Gump" - like career in the finance and internet technology industries for the past 35+ years, enjoying nearly the entire ride and always being challenged. My wife of 32 years and I have been blessed with four daughters, all of whom are smarter than their father, the oldest of which is pursuing the PhD portion of her MD/PhD joint degree at Princeton, the "better known cousin" of Wooster :>). It takes a village.

I am SO grateful to Professor Zimmerman for playing such a key part in helping me develop at such crucial junctures in my life. I try to "pay it forward." I am only sorry that I was too distracted with life to think to reach out while he was still alive and say "Thank you." I take comfort that he, nonetheless, knows that I am writing this as I write it. He was a very good man and he made a real difference in the lives of others. He certainly did in mine.

Thank you, Professor Zimmerman. God bless you.

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