Martin Joseph Zimmerman died Aug. 16, 2017, at Tokarski House in West Salem of complications from Parkinson’s Disease.
He was 85.
Martin was born in McMinnville on Oct. 26, 1931, to Edward and Cecil Zimmerman, the youngest of six children.
He graduated from Yamhill High School and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Crop Science at Oregon State College.
After graduating from college, Martin served in the U.S. Army as a training specialist.
Two years into his service, Martin married his college sweetheart, Dorothy Brabham, on June 11, 1955, the beginning of a long and happy marriage.
Martin entered the Army Reserves, and the young couple returned to the Zimmerman family farm in Yamhill for several years where the first of their children, Philip, and then Kathryn, were born.
In 1960, Martin joined the OSU Agricultural Extension Service becoming a county agent.
His first assignment was Sherman County and he and his young family moved to Moro.
Their second son, Stuart, was born two years later. The family moved briefly to Corvallis while Martin completed his master’s in Agricultural Science at OSU, which he received in 1967.
The family relocated to Condon in 1971, when Martin transferred to Gilliam County.
In 1979, Martin accepted a position in Jefferson County, and he and Dorothy settled in Madras as empty-nesters.
These were good years for the couple.
Martin retired from the OSU Extension Service in July of 1989 as a full professor, and he continued to work as an independent consultant in crop production and seed certification well into his 70s.
In 2011, Martin and Dorothy moved to Dallas to be closer to their children. Dorothy died August 2014.
Martin’s expertise in crop production gave him opportunities for adventure and, in 1993, he was part of a government agricultural team sent to Armenia to survey farms and identify remedies for wheat production problems.
The next year he traveled to Moldova to work with producers of essential oils. Several years later, Martin went to Georgia (the former Soviet Republic) on a church-sponsored mission to improve conditions in orphanages.
Back home from his various travels, Martin gave presentations on his experiences that were interesting and informative.
Martin was a very community-minded man with a strong service ethic, and he was active in his local churches and civic organizations including the Lions Club, Kiwanis, 4-H, and FFA.
Children were frequently the focus of his charitable work, and he led the Madras Kiwanis’ annual toy drive for many years.
Martin received many distinguished service awards in recognition of his years of service in various organizations.
Throughout his life, Martin maintained a positive outlook, even as his Parkinson’s progressed and following the death of his beloved wife. He is survived by his three children, two grandchildren, and his oldest brother.
There will be a graveside service at the Yamhill-Carlton Pioneer Cemetery on Monday, Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. Macy & Sons in McMinnville are handling arrangements. To leave condolences, visit www.macyandson.com.
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