Deacon Richard Zimmerman, 92, dies; funeral Mass is Thursday in Metamora

A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, at St. Mary Church in Metamora for Deacon Richard L. “Dick” Zimmerman, who served as a permanent deacon for the former St. Peter Parish in Peoria for more than 20 years.

Deacon Zimmerman, 92, died on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at The Wilton Mortuary, 2101 N. Knoxville Ave., Peoria. The rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Additional visitation will be offered from 10:30 to 11 a.m. prior to the funeral Mass on Thursday at the church, 415 W. Chatham St. in Metamora.

Msgr. Jason Gray will be principal celebrant of the funeral Mass.


Born in Peoria on June 4, 1931, to Levi and Anna (Ehringer) Zimmerman, Deacon Zimmerman attended St. Mary Grade School and was a 1949 graduate of Metamora High School, having played on that school’s first football team. He then attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Knapp during the Korean conflict and was a lifelong member of the American Legion in Metamora.

Deacon Zimmerman worked as an insurance adjuster and later managed several retail stores, including serving as vice president of Byerly Music.

He married Judy Johnston-Rohman on Oct. 14, 1989. Three years later, he was among 30 men from the Diocese of Peoria’s fifth class of permanent deacons ordained on May 9, 1992, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. Deacon Zimmerman was assigned to St. Peter Parish in Peoria.

He was granted senior status in 2008. Following retirement he enjoyed vacationing in Seaside, Florida, and taking part in family reunions.

He is survived by his wife, Judy, as well as two daughters, Kim (Brad) Mishler and Lisa Zimmerman-Cansino, both of Metamora; stepsons Brad (Mary) Rohman and Matt (Donna) Rohman; seven grandchildren, three step-grandsons; brothers, Jim (Kathy) Zimmerman and Mike (Janeen) Zimmerman; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Gene (Doris) and Loren (Donna, surviving) Zimmerman.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, 8630 IL-91, Peoria, IL 61615, or Greater Peoria Honor Flight, PO Box 5072, Peoria, IL 61601.

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