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Tailing the Komets

Dick Zimmerman has died

The Komets' long-time statistician passed away at 2:02 a.m. today at Parkview at age 83. Tentative services will be for Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday. Everybody please continue to pray for his family.

Calling Dick the statistician feels kind of lame because he was so much more than that to everyone in the hockey community. He started most of the hockey programs at McMillan before there was even a roof on the building. He was the patriarch of Fort Wayne's first family of hockey.

Last season the Zimmerman family celebrated working for 50 years with the Komets in some capacity. Zimmerman's wife Flossie started as the office manager and executive secretary in 1958 and worked for 30 years. Oldest son Bob was an International Hockey League linesman for 18 seasons, and worked four years as the Komets' public address announcer. Dick Jr. has been an off-ice official for 20 years, and his sister Jackie worked in the ticket office for about 10 years.

Flossie and Dick Sr., were married for 64 years, and until two weeks ago attended every home game, sitting in Section 206 in seats 20 and 21. They were inducted into the Komets Hall of Fame in 2004. There are 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Posted in: Komets


Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:38am

Rest in Peace, sir... Gone; but never forgotten... My thoughts and prayers for the Zimmerman family...

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:45am

We have lost a very important part of our hockey family.
Go with all of our love and appreciation for a job and life well done.
Rest in eternal peace my friend.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:59am

God be with you Dick, rest in peace. My sympathy goes to the Zimmerman family.

Five Minute Major
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:19am

Rest in peace, Dick.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:24am

Just wanted to let you know that he heard about you and Chase talking about him on the broadcast on Friday and was in "hog heaven". A friend of the family was telling me about it on Saturday morning at the MAC.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:35am

My thoughts and prayers are with Flossie and the rest of the family. Dick will be sincerely missed by everyone that knew him.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:02pm

Knew that G-hockey, but there's an odd story behind it. Bob had interviewed Matt Syroczinski before the game, but found out his tape had stuck or broken just before gametime. He yelled down to me that I needed to come up during the first intermission, and I said, cool, we'll talk about Dick. The entire Zimmerman family was in the room listening as Bob and I were talking. When Dick Jr. told me that the next morning, I had goose pimples all day. I truly believe God meant for that tape to stick, because this was all spur of the moment and we were winging it.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:38pm

I didn't know Mr. Zimmerman, but from reading his story and considering all of the contributions that he and his family have given to the Komets and hockey in the Fort Wayne area, I think it would be very proper for the Fort Wayne Komet organization to honor his memory by raising a banner in the Coliseum recognizing his accomplishments.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:49pm

The Komet Nation and hockey community has lost a great builder and supporter of the game. Kathleen and I will keep the Zimmerman family in our prayers thru this difficult time.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:30pm

Blake I think the Komets should start a local award and name it the Dick Zimmerman award. This award could be done at any level in city hockey. The award should be based on loyalty, dedication and hard work. Dick has done aot in this sport over the years and I feel he should always be remembered.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:45pm

MSGTSTEVEK--I would support that effort with all my energy. Great idea that is way past time. All to often we wait until we lose someone to remember them. I can think of no one who has done more for hockey and youth in Fort Wayne than Dick Zimmerman. He was also the Sec't of the Oldest organized golf league in the city for many years.

Blueline Baby
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:15pm

I'm so sad to hear of this. My family and I will continue to hold his family in our hearts.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:21pm

Dschebig- I think the IHL should even create the Dick Z award. I don't think snybody has dedicated his/her life to this sport like Dick and Flossy have over the years. Even though the IHL went away and became the UHL and then back to IHL he still stood by the league.

I would venture to say that there are very few if any that have been involved in the programs as long as Dick and Flossy. If i knew how to propose this to the IHL i would. I knoe ou are an off ice official so if you can point me in the right direction I will work it.

Blake Sebring
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:31pm

Great idea. I can think of a dozen people who would be in line for this honor.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 8:31pm

Send your email to Blake he will give you mine lets get it done.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:07pm

So how long before some kind of Komets Lifetime Achievement award is named after Mr. Zimmerman (or both of them) ? Seems appropriate. Either way seeing this story was one of the saddest things I have ever read on this blog. Prayers for the Zimmerman family.

Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:21pm

I never met mr. Zimmerman but I do know how much he means to the komets its history and its future. Thank you for helping to form that great organization called the komets that is so well respected globally, I have truley enjoyed every minute of being a komet fan and I have been able to do that because of mr zimmermans and others like him and their contributions. I look forward to meeting you in heaven when I have fullfilled my purpose here on earth.

Dave W
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:12pm

Blake, I knew Dick Z for some time he was involved with Beth. a while ago . The Passin ofMr Zimmerman makes us put Flossie and the family in our prayers.

Bob Zimmerman
Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:15pm

Steve, Denny, and Blake. To you whom I've known for many years and to the other Komet fans who have posted in this blog and have sent their prayers, thoughts, and kind wishes to our family during this difficult time. We, the Zimmerman family thank you all. For the past week we have spent sleepless nights, tears, stress, laughter, great stories, and precious memories of our dad.

To all the many visitors who came to Parkview to give dad their best wishes, to friends far away that called and requested updates whenever we could supply them, to our many support networks of friends, church members, and co-workers and Komet fans we wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation for the support that you've shown us. This outpouring of compassion helped us through the darkest moments. Dad would be humbled by all the effort as he never sought the limelight but was always content to make things right and to let others shine. That is where he was most comfortable. Many times he told us kids to "do it right". He was our leader, our example, and our guide through life. His dry sense of humor would cause you to stop and think. If he could make you do that, he thought is was hilarious but he only showed the world a wry grin.

I believe I can speak for Mom, Dick, John, Jackie and myself by saying thank you all so much. We could never thank you all enough.

Bob Zimmerman

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 3:16pm

Suggestion on the Zimmerman award, make it local and something to do with youth hockey. I would shy away from anything IHL, who knows how long the IHL will be here? Youth hockey always will be.

Blueline Baby
Tue, 02/02/2010 - 5:37pm

I think we should ask the Zimmerman family which they would prefer on the award. Myself, I think youth hockey does not get enough recognition. No press on it (I know it's due to the fact that businesses buy ads for placement in other sections of the paper and all, no blame intended here), and some of those coaches work long hours for little to no pay. I'd love to see anything recognizing youth hockey in this city. When my kid's team won their championship in December, they did not even get a paper certificate, much less a trophy, much less a mention on the very back page of the sports page of the local paper. Good thing for their coaches....they had their wives make them brownies, and the kids were happy with those! (plus, I got one too....can't beat that! LOL)

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 6:58pm

I am confident that the people responsable for such things as awards have already put things into motion to remember Dick Zimmerman. MSGSteve has climbed the mountain and planted the flag one more time. Once again we owe him a great debt of gratitude. All I would ask is those who support this effort, of which I am one, please be patient. These thing can take time. I believe it will happen!