Joseph W. Zimmerman
Captain; 60th CAC, K Battery
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Joseph J. Zimmerman [sic], 86, of Stone Terrace, Beaver Dam, died on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2002, at Hillside Manor.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002, at 11 a.m., at the Koepsell Funeral Home, Beaver Dam. The Rev. Marvin Schilling will officiate. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Beaver Dam.
Mr. Zimmerman was born on Feb. 20, 1915, in Sidell, Ill., the son of Joseph H. and Angerena (Goodwin) Zimmerman. He was married on Feb. 20, 1946, to Caroline Cleary by Col. Oliver H. Kelly, Army chaplain, in Beaver Dam.
Mr. Zimmerman was a 1929 graduate of Sidell Grade School, and a 1933 graduate of Sidell Township High School. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, was assigned to Company 1657 at Lake Springfield, and later stationed at Giant City State Park near Makanda, Ill.
Having won a scholarship to the University of Illinois, he matriculated in 1934. He became involved in ROTC activities. He was a member of the Pershing Rifles drill team, Scabbard and Blade, and the Military Council. In his senior year he became a cadet lieutenant colonel and in command of the Coast Artillery cadets.
He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1938, and was chosen to serve in the U.S. Army under the Thompson Act. He was assigned to Battery E of the 61st Coast Artillery at Fort Sheridan, Ill., where he spent a year.
He was ordered to spend active duty again in 1940, and assigned to Battery F of the 61st Coast Artillery for six months. He returned to the University of Illinois to complete work on his bachelor's degree, but was assigned to the Recruit Reception Center at Camp Grant, Rockford, Ill.
He volunteered for duty in the Philippines. He arrived there on May 8, 1941, and was assigned to the 59th Coast Artillery at Fort Mills on Corregidor. However, because of his previous experience with an anti-aircraft regiment, he was reassigned to the 60th Coast Artillery and placed in charge of recruit training.
The regiment was expanded to three battalions when the battery commander was promoted to command a battalion, Joe became battery commander, and he was assigned to Battery K. Battery K was armed with 50mm anti-aircraft machine guns. They began to prepare wartime emplacements, and the battery moved out of the Middleside barracks to man the guns the day after Thanksgiving in 1941. He was promoted to captain. In spite of enemy fire, Battery K had no men wounded or killed.
General Wainwright surrendered Corregidor and the Philippines to the Japanese on May 6, 1942. Joe spent the next three and one-half years as a prisoner of war at Bilibid and Cabanatuan in the Philippines, and Yodagawa Bunsho in Osaka, Zentsuji, and Roku Roshi, Japan. When he was released he was promoted to major.
He was discharged from the army in 1947, and he returned to the University of Illinois where he earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, and a master's plus several hours in English. In 1970, he earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Illinois State University.
He taught in high schools in Marengo, Alexis, Paxton, Bradley and Ashland, Ill. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1955, and to colonel in 1964. In 1975, he retired from the U.S. Army Reserve. The Zimmermans moved to Beaver Dam in May 1990.
Mr. Zimmerman was raised a master mason in Sidell Lodge AF and AM 798 in 1945, and he was processed through the Scottish Rite in Danville. He had life memberships in Broadlands Lodge 791, the Grand Lodge of Illinois, and the Scottish Rite. In 1983, he became a National Sejourner and a member in perpetuity of Golden Gate 18, San Francisco. He attended the founding of Prisoner-of-War Chapter 523 at the Marine Club, San Francisco, and was named second vice president. He was initiated a Hero of '76. He was a member in perpetuity and past president of the Prisoner-of-War Chapter 523. He held life memberships in all the organizations of which he was a member; the Lincoln Land Chapter, the Retired Officers Association Western States Chapter, the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, Springfield Area Chapter and State of Illinois American Ex-POW's, Sidell Township High School, University of Illinois, and Illinois State University Alumni Associations. He was a Zentsujian by reason of having been a prisoner-of-war at a camp in Zentsuji on the island of Shikoku, Japan, for two years. The Zentsujians are not organized. Their activities are the product of volunteers and donations.
Survivors include his wife, Carrie Zimmerman, Beaver Dam; one sister-in-law, Inez Cleary, Beaver Dam; one niece, Sharon Kay Zimmerman, Peoria, Ill.; two nephews, Michael G. Cleary, Redding, Calif., and Dan T. Cleary, Oconomowoc; relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, George Zimmerman, and one sister-in-law, Dorothy Zimmerman.