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School 21


John Towers Zimbelman

January 4, 1948 ~ June 1, 2018 (age 70)
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     John Towers Zimbelman was born January 4, 1948 in North Platte, Nebraska to C.H. “John” and Phyllis Zimbelman and died in Gooding, Idaho on June 1, 2018.

     He grew up in North Platte, attending public schools there, graduating from N.P.H.S. in 1966.  Later he studied at and received degrees from Kearney State College, University of Northern Colorado, and the University of Idaho in the field of education.

     John taught the blind and visually impaired for a total of 37 years in Wisconsin, Alaska, New Zealand and Idaho, for the last 24 years of his career at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind in Gooding.  He enjoyed teaching immensely and was particularly involved in the field of educating the blind.

     He loved traveling, often in his pick-up camper with dogs in tow and visited the bulk of National Parks in the West.  As a young man he backpacked extensively in the mountains of Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho.  He spent a summer hitch hiking throughout Australia and New Zealand and later lived and taught in Wellington, New Zealand for five years.

     His hobbies included crafting stained glass pieces.  Upon retirement he had a shop built for his glass work and spent countless hours turning out works for his home and friends.  He was also an avid fly fisherman and enjoyed float tubing many of Idaho’s lakes and streams.

     He is survived by his mother, Phyllis Christensen of North Platte; brothers, Mike (Sara) Zimbelman of Lincoln, Nebraska and Charles Towers of Thermopolis, Wyoming; nephews, Zac Zimbelman, Zane Zimbelman, Jordan Coleman; niece, Melissa Smith; and special friend, Jeanne-Marie Kopecky of Gooding, Idaho.

     His dad, C.H. Zimbelman and sister, Deb Zimbelman preceded him in death.

     John requested no funeral services and his ashes to be scattered on the Salmon River in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.  Cremation arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Gooding Chapel.


When my life has ended

And my time has run out

My friends and my loved ones

I’ll leave there’s no doubt


But one thing’s for certain

When it comes my time

I’ll leave this old world

With a satisfied mind

~ Johnny Cash




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