Benjamin Franklin Zimmerman, Jr., age 81, of Roscommon, died on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 in Grayling, Michigan.

Ben was born September 30, 1937 in Traverse City, Michigan, the son of Benjamin, Sr. and Grace (Grove) Zimmerman.

He grew up on a farm in Rapid City, Michigan, near the Torch Lake area, and was the fifth child in a family of eight children:  six girls and two boys.  Having four older sisters, he said he never felt that women were the weaker sex.

Ben graduated from Rapid City High School in 1955 and went on to get a B.S. in Residential Building from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.  He married Edith Lee Couturier from Traverse City, Michigan, on February 27, 1960.  By 1967 they had six children, three boys and three girls, and he enjoyed vacation time camping, hiking and traveling with his family. 

Ben was an outdoorsman to the core, with tracking abilities and knowhow to find his way in any wilderness with his compass and maps and a remarkable ability to automatically remember landmarks.  He loved to go fishing, deer hunting and small game hunting.  He hunted on skis in the wintertime and enjoyed hunting vacations where he could tent camp in the wintertime; sometimes with a tent and sometimes just with a canvas wrapped over some branches.  The rougher it was, the more he enjoyed it.

Ben retired in 1997 after working for the State of Michigan for 30 years.  During those years he worked as a Construction Supervisor and for the last 15 years as a Facility Engineer.  He designed and constructed several campgrounds in Michigan and traveled throughout the state extensively in his job.  He always enjoyed being on the road.

Ben and his family have been residents of Roscommon, Michigan, for 48 years.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church in 1985 and was an active parishioner of St. Michael Catholic Church in Roscommon until his death in 2019.  His faith and parish community meant very much to him.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Roscommon. 

Ben will be lovingly remembered as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and with his construction skills he was able to help each one of his children with their construction projects.

Ben is survived by his wife, Edith, of 59 years, five children and twelve grandchildren:  Benjamin III (Kathy) Zimmerman and their two children Ben IV and Amy; Victor (Eileen) Zimmerman and their son Luke; Laurence (Mailiwan Kim) Zimmerman and their two children Brittany and Corey; Bonnie (Willis) Waterman and their four children Calvin, Aubrey, Caroline and Jeremiah; Christine (Keith) Clark and their three children Matthew, Katherine and Elizabeth.  Three sisters and one brother:  Leone Bagnall, Leo (Nancy) Zimmerman, Alberta (James) Zeman and Wanda (Daniel) Tuller.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents Benjamin Sr. and Grace (Grove) Zimmerman, his daughter Theresa, three sisters Jean (Richard) Guy, Goldie (Jack) Gaylord, and Glenis (Orva) Allen.


Family and friends will gather on Friday, July 5, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 PM with a Rosary at 7:30 PM at Wagner and Walsh Funeral Directors, 143 Lake Street, Roscommon, Michigan 48653.  The Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Michael Catholic Church, 104 North 6th Street, Roscommon, Michigan 48653. The Reverend Father Bernard Tyler will be Celebrant.


Ben will be laid to rest at Roscommon Village Cemetery, Roscommon, Michigan.


Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagner and Walsh Funeral Directors, Roscommon.

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