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Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Friend, Jason

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Jason Fredrick Zimmerman was born September 9, 1970 in San Francisco, CA, to George D. Zimmerman and Kathleen Scott. He died at the age of 41, Saturday morning, August 11, 2012, at his father’s home in Sandpoint, ID. 

Some of you will recognize his name. Maybe he was a childhood friend, a high-school crush, a college roommate, peer, or fellow teacher. Maybe he was your teacher.

Others, for whom this name does not bring immediate recognition or a flood of memories, will likely move on—possibly not even making it as far as this sentence. But to those of us who knew him, he was a phenomenal teacher, an inspiring mentor, a worthy and idolized role model, an adventerous travel companion. He was a champion of students. A brother. A friend.

He grew up in the Northwest, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. Louis, Missiouri; and, in 2000, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education. He was the first in his family to complete college.

In the 12 years since graduating from BYU, he taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in the Provo School District, worked countless volunteer hours in after-school and out-of-the-classroom programs, graduated with a Master Degree in Technology, and received numerous awards honoring his ability and passion for teaching.

He fostered a comfortable learning environment where students felt good about themselves, were motivated to succeed, gained an appreciation for hard work, were inspired to learn—and had fun doing it. Teaching, nurturing and encouraging were his passion.

Jason was an avid and talented photographer. His ability to both see and capture the beauty around him with his camera was only matched by his inherent knack for doing the same with the people he met.
The lonely deserts of southern Utah and forgotten back roads of nowhere were his safe haven. He documented his adventures in photography and poetic prose—much of which he would post for the world to see and read on his blog.

As a teacher and mentor, Jason taught us to see no limits to our potential. As a friend, he loved unconditionally. His influence will forever be felt in the lives of those who are better, wiser and kinder for having known him.

Jason was preceded in death by a younger brother, Simon, who died at birth July 1, 1988. And by his mother, Arlene Zimmerman, who died at the age of 64 after a long battle to cancer only three years ago last month.

He is survived by his father George Zimmerman and his wife; his mother Kathleen Roesler and her husband; and his siblings Shawna Gregg, Yancy Zimmerman, Miya Edwards, and Lucie Zimmerman.

This beautiful tribute was written by his brother, Yancy.
A memorial for our friend Jason (known in blogland as Teachinfourth) will take place on Saturday, August 25th at 10 a.m.  The service will be held at 1745 South State Street, Provo, UT 84606 and is open to all friends, teachers, students, family and others who would like to share in a celebration of his life.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

OMG, I can't believe this.. I had wondered why Jason hadn't posted anything on his blog for awhile... I am saddened, we had emailed back and forth.. I had even wanted to purchase some of his photos and he had been working on how to change his photo site so he could enable a coupon feature there ( as he put it).... His students will miss him, so will educators that would of learned so much for him... I wished my 3 could have had someone just like him as their teacher... Its hard finding someone who loves their work and has so much passion. His passion showed in his photography as well as his writings.. I will miss him especially his humor! Condolences go out to his family ((HUGS))

Rachel said...

I'd wondered who had written this tribute. It is beautiful Yancy. Just beautiful.

Anaise said...

He was a remarkable person. Those who knew him best have been in my prayers daily. Wishing you peace and comfort and the love of God as you grieve.

Emily said...

Yancy did a wonderful job with his obituary. Just the way I'll remember him.

Mindy said...

From the moment I first read this last week, I thought it was one of the most powerful tributes I've seen. That it was written by Yancy for Jason makes it even more poignant. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those who loved and were loved by Jason. He will be missed.

Karen Peterson said...

I'm still shell-shocked. This was a perfect tribute, though.

The Empress said...

Oh, I am so shocked. I was cleaning out my google reader, and catching up here: the very first place I ever guest posted, and what a thrill that was, and I scrolled through archives to find this.'

I can't believe it. Jason was so kind and encouraging to me, and I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS.
I am just , overwhelmed.
I am so sorry, I feel so sad, and I'm in disbelief.

I remember him emailing me, and encouraging me, and how important he was to four perspectives. I am so sorry.

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