Cover photo for William "Bill" Richard Zimmerman's Obituary

William "Bill" Richard Zimmerman

March 19, 1957 — June 27, 2024

Waynesville

William "Bill" Richard Zimmerman

William “Bill” Richard Zimmerman, 67, passed away tragically and unexpectedly on Thursday June 27, 2024, following a cycling accident. In his final moments he was surrounded by his family and friends. 

He is survived by Karen, his wife and best friend of 40 years, his son Bill and wife Amanda of Decatur GA, his sister Tandy Goodwin and husband David of Glen Allen, VA, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents William Henry Zimmerman and Verlie Graham Zimmerman. 

Bill was born in Louisville, KY on March 19, 1957, and earned a degree in Engineering at Rutgers University followed by a Masters Degree at Georgia Tech. 

He had a 30-year career in telecommunications at AT&T where he made lifelong friends. Upon his “retirement” he transitioned to Riverbed Technology where he designed and led worldwide teams, building relationships and making adventure out of work. Bill’s sphere of influence was, and continues to be, felt by many. His career and interests were marked by his enthusiasm and love for life. 

In Haywood County he was widely known for his active involvement and devotion to Search and Rescue (SAR) and was president of the WNC Wilderness Safety Fund. Bill was also an active member of the Carolina Mountain Club, and volunteered regularly for trail maintenance, with a special dedication to the Green Mountain Trail in the Middle Prong Wilderness. 

Bill truly dedicated himself to others and shared his enthusiasm for cycling, yoga, hiking, kayaking, and navigating through the woods and the world. Bill made others feel important and was solid and dependable with his empathy, acceptance, inspiration and mentorship. Bill made friends wherever he went and was quick to help others, smart yet humble, and incredibly adventurous. 

Even in death he continued to give to others through donation of his organs. His gifts of his kidneys and his bone marrow will give others precious life, and his corneas will provide others with the joy of seeing the same world that Bill relentlessly explored and treasured. Bill was a hero in life and a hero in death.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~ Khalil Gibran

In lieu of gifts and flowers, donations can be made to:

• WNC Wilderness Safety Fund at wncwildernesssafetyfund.org

• North Carolina Outward Bound School at ncobs.org

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 11:00 am at Hidden Valley Farms, Clyde, NC. 

The care of Bill has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville 

To order memorial trees in memory of William "Bill" Richard Zimmerman, please visit our tree store.

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