AUBURN – Marjorie Ellen (VanLiew) Zimmerman, 93, died peacefully on Thursday, August 18, 2022, at Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge. She was born in Woonsocket, RI, daughter of the late Albert Lapham and Edith Viola (Henry) VanLiew. She is survived by three daughters, Dawn Lucier and her husband Marvin of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Eileen Keller and her husband Sheldon of Mashpee, and Ellen “Kate” Flynn and her husband Timothy of Oxford; her daughter-in-law, Deborah Zimmerman of Palm Coast, FL; her sister, Shirley Nadon of Shrewsbury; her sister-in-law, Francesca VanLiew of Florida; eleven grandchildren, Jennifer Luitjens and her husband Sean of Cheshire, Jason Keller of Pittsfield, Matthew Keller and his wife Amy of Pittsburg, PA, Brendan Lucier and his wife Zoe Trohatos of Cambridge, Catherine Lucier of Victoria, BC, Canada, Robin McDonald and her husband Jamie of Chilliwack, BC, Canada, Erin Lucier of Victoria, BC Canada, Megan Sebasco and her husband Jonathan of Nottingham, NH, Shawna Robinson and her husband Devon of Brasilia, Brazil, Andrea Hawkes of Oxford, and Shawn Zimmerman and his fiancé Jinzhu Zhang of Orlando FL; and eighteen great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Benjamin Earl Zimmerman; her son, Steven Allen Zimmerman; her brother, Robert VanLiew; and her granddaughter, Heather Dawn Flynn.
Marjorie grew up in Worcester, MA and was the youngest of three children. She married Benjamin in 1948. They moved a few times between Worcester and Ohio before settling in Auburn, MA. They raised four children of their own and fostered countless others.
Marjorie had several passions. Early on her brother Bob encouraged her love of art and playing piano. Music was a big part of her life. She loved silly songs and teaching them to numerous children she had in her life over many decades. She also enjoyed barbershop and sang with the Sweet Adeline’s; sang in many church choirs including a church in Florida that had a large production once a year called the living tree; and as she had teenagers in the 60’s and 70’s, embraced Elvis, the Beatles and most rock and roll. However, her true preference was country music.
Camping was another passion of hers; she camped with her square-dancing group called the KK’s. She enjoyed trailer living and the comradery that came with it so much that she became a seasonal camper at Indian Ranch in Webster which offered the bonus of country music on the weekends.
She also loved cats of any kind, her favorite were long-haired, and if they had double paws that was a plus. She had many cat companions over the year bringing her much joy; Gypsy, Sarah Lee and Pretty to name a few. The story of Marjorie wouldn’t be complete without mentioning game playing. Like her mother before her she enjoyed all games but mostly cards. Oh, how she loved the many visits from her grandson Jason and their cribbage games, especially if she won.
The last several years she spent in Assisted Living at Christopher Heights in Webster, MA. She cherished any and all visits and phone calls. She received regular visits over the years from her sister Shirley, oftentimes involving bingo. In recent years, Shirley’s caring daughter Kim would accompany her mother and sit and visit with Auntie Marge. Grammie Z or “Super Z” (as Marjorie was called by her grands and great grands) also looked forward to Monday evenings when her granddaughter Jennifer called faithfully to chat about the week’s events. She loved her family and couldn’t get enough hugs. For many years her daughter Kate supported and assisted with her care as her health advocate. Kate was also the go-to person for her personal wants and wishes as well as the source of many of her hugs. Marjorie lived a full life.
A memorial service will be held at 12:00 pm on Sunday, September 25th at the First Baptist Church, 693 Main Street, North Oxford. Burial will be private at North Cemetery in Oxford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Community Cat Connection, 289 Thompson Rd., Webster, MA 01570. Paradis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford is directing the arrangements.