Service measured not by GOLD,
but by the GOLDEN RULE
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 he’d do his life’s 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 computers’ relevance to liberal arts.
During his 28-year tenure, he established the college’s 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.