LINCOLN - Betty A. Zimmerman, 90, formerly of Normal, IL passed away on November 29, 2020 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.
Betty was born to Folkert and Dorothy (Sutton) Broers on August 10, 1930 in rural Minonk, IL. She married Gene Zimmerman on September 8, 1949 and divorced in 1967. He died December 4, 2004.
Betty is survived by her seven children: Janine (Patrick) Cleary, Rebecca Linares, Michele (Dennis) Doyle, Gene Zimmerman, Jr., Mary Lisa Zimmerman (Kevin O'Neill), Laurel (Steve) King, and John Zimmerman; 18 grandchildren: Melissa Kneller, Adam Bradbury, Joshua Bradbury, Sarah Bradbury, Benjamin Bradbury, Terra Wyatt, Nathan Doyle, Stephanie Kinsey, Katherine Saint, Anna Zimmerman, Collen Glover, Cameron Glover, Jamie King, Emily King, Meredith Zimmerman, Corryn Zimmerman, Ethan Zimmerman and Gabriella Zimmerman; and 18 great-grandchildren: Aidan, Ava, and Aaron Kneller, Henry, Maryjane, and Samuel Bradbury, Cameron Ackerson, Madison and Alex Bradbury, Caleb Bradbury, Kadence and Bella Wyatt, Nathaniel Doyle, Josephine and Thomas Kinsey, Austin, Logan, and Morgan Zimmerman-Brown.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters: Margaret Broers, Ruth Wilson and Jeanette Broers; grandson, Ian Glover; and great-grandchildren: James and Charlotte Doyle.
Betty was a loving mother and proud of her brood of seven children and her grandchildren. She was a talented and creative person as proven in her many accomplishments. She loved to sew and made most of her children's clothes when they were young. In retirement, she continued to sew and decorate sweatshirt jackets for family and friends, and sold them at craft fairs.
Betty was an exceptional cook. She loved to entertain in her home, offering her delicious food to family and friends. She loved to create whether it was gardening or refurbishing her home. Betty was an exceptional writer. She was the editor of the Minonk News Dispatch from 1971-1974 and wrote a column, "From Under the Bushell", depicting her life growing up in Minonk, IL in the post-depression years.
Betty's life took a different direction in 1974 when she moved with her three youngest to Twin Valleys School, an alternative educational community near Wardsville, Ontario, Canada. There she taught cooking, English, and writing skills; and created the community's newspaper.
Betty moved to Normal, IL in 1976 where she was a feature writer and later, the food writer for The Pantagraph Newspaper in Bloomington, IL.
As an empty nester, Betty fulfilled a lifelong dream and moved to CA in 1986. After 13 years of traveling, working, and making new friends; she retired and returned to her family and friends in Normal.
The family thanks everyone at St. Clara's Rehab and Senior Care for the wonderful care she received these last several years. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Clara's Rehab and Senior Care, Activities and Maintenance Departments, 1450 Castle Manor Dr., Lincoln, IL 62656.
Due to Covid restrictions, a private family visitation and celebration of life will be held on Sunday, December 6, 2020. Condolences and memorials may be shared at East Lawn Funeral Home Bloomington, IL website. www.eastlawnmemorial.com
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