Elvy 'Joe' Zimmer passed away at home, with family members by his side, on Monday, February 15, 2016. He had suffered for many years with Congestive Heart Failure.
Joe was born on February 27, 1932, in Granite City, Illinois. He was the youngest of 12 children, and his father worked in a steel mill all of his life. Due to family circumstances at the time, he ended up leaving home at 15 years old, and has been on his own ever since. He found a job in a bakery, and worked there for several years.
In 1950, at the age of 18, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy. The Korean War was starting, and he said he preferred to enlist in the Navy, instead of being drafted into the Army. He worked as a baker and cook, on LST 1089. This type of ship was an amphibious tank and troop carrier. It had a flat bottom, so as to land on the beach. The front of the ship would then open up to unload its cargo of tanks, and soldiers. After the Korean War ended, he finished his enlistment stationed in Guam. He was discharged in 1954, in San Francisco California.
He decided to remain in the San Francisco area, and soon obtained a job at a slaughterhouse. Later that year, he met his future wife, Vera Scott. After a short courtship, they traveled from California to Las Vegas, where they were married. They continued on to Illinois, where Joe began working in the grocery business. While working full-time, joe saved his money, and personally built their first home.
In 1958 they made the decision to move back to California. Joe was then able to obtain a job in the grocery business, in the San Francisco area. In 1962, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints knocked on their door. Joe and Vera accepted the Gospel teachings, and were soon baptized into the church. The following year, they traveled to the nearest LDS temple, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to be sealed for time and eternity. In 1979, he decided to move his family to Utah, and settled in the Orem area. He had retired from being a grocery clerk, and was looking for work. He bought a semi truck, and worked for Mayflower trucking for several years. He then obtained a job at the Utah State Prison, and used his experience as a cook from the Navy. In 1989, he started a job at the Utah State Developmental Center, in American Fork, Utah. But he injured his back at work in 1992, and had to retire for good.
Joe became interested in the area of hypnotherapy, and obtained his degree as a certified hypnotherapist. He worked with people in the areas of pain control, dealing with emotional problems, overcoming addictions, and relaxation techniques. He also studied acupressure, and helped people in many ways with various illnesses and problems in their lives. Also around this time, he became interested in wood carving, and painting. He immersed himself into both, and became an extremely talented carver and painter. Many of his carvings won first place prizes in regional and state competitions. He loved to carve gifts for people, and give away his paintings.
Joe never stopped learning. He was an extensive reader, and traveled all over the nation attending training classes for carving, painting, and hypnotherapy. His focus was to always help others, relieve them of any pain, and help with struggles they were going through. Joe was also called to a service mission, at the Deseret Industries facility in American Fork. He taught employees customer service and work skills. He additionally counseled the employees with their personal struggles. Even though the time of his mission ran out, he was allowed to continue his service for many more years. He enjoyed his service immensely, and said he had the best job in the church.
A few days before he passed, when he knew the end was near, he said that he was sad he couldn't continue helping others. Even during his last days, when people would come to visit, he would ask them what he could do for them.
Joe and Vera had four children: Teresa, Ida, Laura, and Aaron. Together they have 12 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter Teresa, and a great granddaughter Abigail.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the Payson 17th Ward, 650 West 800 South, Payson, Utah. There will be a viewing from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. prior to services at the church. Interment will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 22, 2016 at the Utah Veterans Memorial Park, 17111 S. Camp Williams Road, Bluffdale Utah.