Bruce Zimmerman

Obituary of Bruce Zimmerman

We are saddened to announce the death of Bruce Zimmerman after complications from illness. Bruce died at home surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Marilyn, and their children. He was 80 years young.


Bruce’s adventurous life began on March 26, 1943, in Rochester NY. He was the son of Bruce and Billie Marie Zimmerman and the oldest of seven children.


Bruce’s lifelong passion for seamanship was notorious and began at a young age — at 16, he and a friend made the papers when they crossed Lake Ontario to Canada in a 15’ sailboat. His love of the sea then brought him to New York State Maritime College where he began a career in the Merchant Marine. He later went on to earn an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology.


He married the love of his life, Marilyn Francis Wrenn, in NYC in 1966. Bruce and Marilyn moved to Castine, Maine in 1971 where he taught economics and coached sailing at Maine Maritime Academy. In the late 70’s their adventures continued to Brunswick, Maine, where the Zimmermans sailed extensively along the Maine coast, gardened, traveled together and raised three children. 


In the 80’s Bruce began a successful career as Northeast Regional Manager for Daktronics, a cutting-edge electronics company. Through much of Bruce’s efforts, Daktronics helped transform Times Square in NYC into the vibrant entertainment center it is today.


In 2002, he and Marilyn retired to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where they discovered their love of the Carolina Shag dance. They became heavily involved in the island dance club, and Bruce enjoyed teaching Shag and being one of the DJs. He loved the community and had many great years with wonderful friends, choosing also to volunteer with various organizations on the island, especially the Michael J Fox Foundation, St. Francis Thrift Shop, and teaching children to sail.


Bruce was an amazing husband, father, brother, sailor, boatbuilder, and cabinetmaker. He had a great zest for life, his family, friends and hobbies. He came from a large and boisterous family and his sense of fun and humor were legendary. He and his siblings’ tradition of family “roasting” on milestone birthdays will always be remembered.


He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, daughter and son-in-law Trisha and Ted Hunter of Brunswick, Maine; son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Carola Zimmerman of Cape Elizabeth Maine; daughter and son-in-law Anne and Chris Briand of Tierra Verde, Florida; his sisters Bonnie Zimmerman, Kate Sawyer, Mary Converse and her husband Leo, Trish Zimmerman, and brothers, Fred Zimmerman, and Andrew Zimmerman and wife Wanda. 


Bruce’s funeral Mass will be at 10 am on Friday July 7, at St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church on Hilton Head Island. Reception to follow in the family center at the church. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Michael J. Fox Foundation or The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation.



Funeral Mass

10:00 am
Friday, July 7, 2023
St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church
45 Beach City Road
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States
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