Karl G. Zimmer, 53, of Sugar Grove, passed away unexpectedly, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.
He was born June 16, 1958, in Chicago, the son of John Sr. and Nancy (LeVangie) Zimmer.
Karl was one of 13 children and spent many of his growing years around the Chicagoland area and attended local schools. Karl had several jobs in the first several years following school but began a career in water purification at Interlake Continental in Broadview, Ill.
Karolyn Rhode tried to set Karl up with a friend, but he ended up falling head over heels in love with Karolyn instead. Their love story began shortly after, and before long they were united in marriage on May 8, 1982.
They began their new life together in Cicero, Ill., for a time and welcomed home two of their five daughters, Rachel and Kate. They bought their first home in Berwyn, Ill., and watched their family grow when Laura, Karla and Dana made their family complete. In 1994, the family moved to Kaneville before finally settling in Sugar Grove in 1999.
While Karl began his career at Interlake Continental, he later began working for Ionpure in Lombard, Ill. Karl’s entrepreneurial spirit soon bloomed and he began his own business, H2O Technical Services. He was so successful in building the business that it was soon bought by US Filter. Karl worked for them as a service manager for two years before longing to be his own boss once again. Karl resurrected H2O Technical Services, built it up once again and eventually partnered with AmeriWater, who honored him with the 2010 National Distributor Award.
Karl’s foundation was built with the help of the local Boy Scout Troop. He grew and learned hard work, determination and love of the outdoors. He worked many jobs to make money for his dues and to help pay for trips and was forever grateful for the opportunities it provided him. He was a big kid at heart who knew how to make you feel special. He was a favorite of not only his daughters, but his nieces, nephews, cousins and neighborhood kids as well. He loved to pull the kids in a trailer with his tractor and later taught them how to drive it. All the kids made a million memories on the playset he built in the backyard, but they made even more when they took a camper on the road, visiting Mt. Rushmore, any campground they could find and later Disney World.
He taught his girls smelt fishing and snipe hunting and was their biggest fan when they played sports at school. You couldn’t find a dad that was more proud. Karl also loved to make home movies. His first camera weighed a ton and was as big as a suitcase, but it never kept him from capturing the perfect moment.
When he sold his first business, Karl officially began his love affair with Harley Davidson, when he bought a Road King. Later, when he restarted his business, Karl upgraded to his Ultra Classic and called it his “therapy”. He enjoyed playing horse shoes almost as much as he loved playing the Lotto, but there was nothing he loved more than becoming a “Grumpa” to his grandchildren. He was a great man who lived a great life but was taken before his time. Karl will be missed by many and never forgotten.
He is survived by his loving wife Karolyn; five daughters, Rachel (Tom) Lang and their son Graham, Kate (Andrew) Clements and their son Owen, Laura (Greg) Reinert, Karla Zimmer with another grandson on the way, and Dana Zimmer; his mother, Nancy Zimmer, six brothers; five sisters and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his father, John Sr.; and one brother, Gerard Zimmer.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral to celebrate his life will be Friday, Sept. 23, at Kaneville United Methodist Church in Kaneville. Rev. Mark Harkness, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at Kaneville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you send a memorial to the charity of your choice. Tributes may be forwarded to www.conleycare.com where you can read his full life story.