Neal Joel Zimmerman, AIA, of West Hartford, CT died Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at the Hebrew Home & Hospital after a lengthy and valiant battle with metastatic angiosarcoma. Born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of the late Richard and Rose (Berkowitz) Zimmerman. He was 64.
Loving and devoted husband of Leann Sherman Zimmerman; beloved father of Stacey Zimmerman of Rhode Island, and Jon M. Zimmerman of Seattle, WA. Beloved older brother of Glenn Zimmerman and brother-in-law to Marla Zimmerman of Roswell, GA; adoring uncle to Jonah and Ruby Zimmerman.
Neal was a graduate of Queens College and the School of Architecture at the City College of New York, and was a member of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity, through which he made lifelong friendships.
Prior to becoming an architect, Neal taught disadvantaged students in the New York City school system, motivating them with humor and creative teaching methods. As an architect, his specialties included interiors and home office design, and for the past 20 years, accessibility design for the disabled. Several of his former clients became close friends. Neal also authored several architecture and design books, many of which adorn family and friends’ coffee tables and bookshelves.
Neal took sheer delight in entertaining everyone, young and old, through his gift as a storyteller. He especially enjoyed entertaining the children in his life – through jokes, riddles and magic tricks. His talents included design, woodworking, playing various musical instruments, solving the daily newspaper word jumbles without a pen, and singing in perfect pitch. One of his favorite past times was entertaining friends and family in front of his wood burning stove.
Neal’s integrity defined him and guided his every move with business associates, as well as friends, family and everyone with whom he came into contact. The multitude of relatives, friends, neighbors, former clients, and others who visited him during his hospice stay was a testament to Neal’s devotion and commitment to them throughout their relationships.
Neal’s family is touched by the countless acts of loving kindness and generosity during Neal’s lengthy illness, and wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to everyone for their support both at home and during his hospice stay, having brought Neal gifts, laughter, companionship, and fond memories. The family also wishes to express deep gratitude to the Saint Francis Cancer Center staff for treating Neal like family, Interim Healthcare staff for their care of Neal at home, and the Hebrew Home & Rehabilitation Center hospice staff for their care and support during Neal’s final days. Last but not least, the family thanks Neal’s longtime, devoted friend, Norman Katz who called Neal each and every day throughout his illness.
Neal was fervently devoted to his family and friends, and led a noble, ethical life unmatched by few. He will be profoundly missed by all whose lives he touched.
Funeral services will be Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM at the Wellwood Cemetery, Farmingdale, LI, NY. Shiva will be observed at Neal and Leann’s home Saturday evening, 7-9 PM and Sunday through Thursday, 2-4 and 6-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: www.angiosarcomaawareness.org, Jewish Family Service of Greater Hartford (www.jfshartford.org), the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford (www.jewishhartford.org.), or the Hebrew Home & Hospital (www.hebrewhealthcare.org). Arrangements are entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary, Hartford. For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Neal, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm