Community, Cottage Grove, Opinion & Editorial

LTE: Remembering Leroy Zimmerman

Dear Editor,

It is with great sadness that I recognize another leading citizen of Cottage Grove’s passing,  Leroy Zimmerman, editor and publisher of The Cottage Grove Sentinel in past years. He passed away in Bend, his new home, on  April 10.  

The reasons are manifold to recognize Leroy.  As many old-timers will remember, he was born on a farm in,  I believe,  Kansas. He wanted another path in life than farming and went to the military. He later graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, which he held in high esteem, as he was a true journalist. He was quick to give compliments from the editor’s desk, and also quick to lower the hammer if things weren’t managed properly in your area – such as volunteerism.

I first became acquainted with him in 1978 when I came to the Chamber of Commerce, and consulted with him for advice and direction when I assumed president of BMD 1979-80.  

He was not a manager of sorts, but he gave sound advice that came from the heart.  He was truly a representative of South Lane County in The Cottage Grove Sentinel.  

Later I followed his advice  as I assumed the presidency of Chamber of Commerce and of fundraising for United Way. 

 He truly believed volunteerism helped the community afford things the taxpayer could not pay for. He was always positive, with a pat on the back when you were on the right track — but a ready to light a smoke flare if he felt  you were on the wrong path. 

He was instrumental in teaching me the art of promotions,  be it a festival or an item.

He will be interred in Cottage Grove  and laid alongside his wife, Pat.

 Some of the old-timers may remember Pat – her maiden name was Coop, as the manger of Perry’s Variety Store on the corner of 5th and Main, which is now Five Flying Monkeys. 

Zim was a member of Rotary, Chamber, United Way, one of the founders of the CG Bank, which is now Umpqua.

After college graduation, he was instrumental in rewriting CG Charter. 

Once again, I extend my thanks to a leader of the community who was instrumental, in my thinking, for volunteerism and civic pride in our home, Cottage Grove, Oregon.  It was an honor and a privilege to work with this man.

Don Willliams

Cottage Grove



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