Preserving Whitehall's Past  
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Whitehall Historical Preservation Society
P.O. Box 39 - Whitehall, PA 18052-0039
(610) 776-7280
Email WHPS At:
Helfrich Springs Grist Mill - 501 Mickley Road
Peter Grim Homestead - 506 Mickley Road
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Robert Zimmerman

Robert W. Zimmerman, 86, passed away on March 31, 2009 in Calvin Coolidge Nursing and Rehab Center in Northampton, Mass. Born on February 1, 1923, in Scranton, Pa., Bob was the son of William and Mollie (Hartman) Zimmerman. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served as a Staff Sergeant in the 310th Field Artillery Battalion, 79th Infantry Division. He received a Bronze Star for meritorious service in the European Theater and was honorably discharged in October 1945. He was employed by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Scranton. He married Romaine Perugini in 1948 and began working for the Atlantic Refining Co. in West Reading, Pa. The family moved to Whitehall in 1959 where Bob and Romaine lived for 48 years. In 1962, Bob left his job with Atlantic, entered Lehigh University at age 40, earned an M.A. in history, and began a career in secondary education with the Bethlehem Area School District. He taught social studies at Liberty and Freedom high schools and American government to adult immigrants in evening school. He subsequently chaired the Social Studies department at Freedom, became the district curriculum coordinator for K-12 Social Studies and curriculum specialist for Social Studies, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy for Children until his retirement in 1986. Bob served on the board of the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania Councils for Social Studies, was a field representative for the Pennsylvania Council on Economic Education, secretary of Lehigh County Community College Board of Trustees, and consultant to Lehigh Universitys Center for Economic Education. Bethlehem School District honored him with its Triple E Award and the Circle of Excellence. Bob was a devoted family man with diverse interests and talents, including painting, writing, singing, gardening, and sports. He participated Lehigh County Crime Watch and the Fresh Air and Foreign Exchange Student programs. He delivered meals for Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County for 14 years. He was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown where he was a deacon and helped settle and tutor immigrant families. Bob was an advocate for natural resource preservation, a founding member of the Whitehall Historical and Preservation Society, and a trustee for the Lehigh County Historical Society. In 2007, Bob and Romaine moved to the Lathrop Retirement Community in Easthampton, Mass. Survivors: Wife, Romaine; children Gail Thomas of Florence, Mass., and Mark of Bel Air, Md.; grandchildren Megan, Molly, and Mark; great-granddaughter Letha; brother William of Endicott, N.Y.; nieces, nephews, and many old and new friends. Services: 2 p.m., April 25, a memorial service will be held in the Inn at Lathrop, and burial will be at the Veterans Cemetery in Agawam, Mass. Gifts may be made to Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, 4234 Dorney Park Rd., Allentown, PA, 18104, or the Wildlands Conservancy, 3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus, PA, 18049.

Published in the Morning Call on 4/19/2009