Dale Zimmer left behind a wife and two sons after passing away September 4 from complications after surgery. The Zimmers recently moved into Marcus, but still had 340 acres of land south of Meriden growing their yearly soybeans and corn.
Neighbor and good friend James Mayer decided to take on the task of finding volunteers to help harvest the family's soybeans and corn so it wouldn't go to waste and before long more than 25 men were in line to help.
That help was a total of five combines, tractors, wagons and a semi to harvest the 166 acres of soybeans in one afternoon. The team started around 12:15 p.m. with Fr. Gene Sitzman giving a blessing before they started, and finishing the last field around 4:30 p.m. before breaking for a potluck lunch provided by 20 women from the former Maryhill Parish.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Floyd Zimmer, Dale's father. "They all have their own work to do and instead of doing that they are here. They will all probably have to go home and work half the night on their own land as well."
The land has been in the family for years and for Dale it was the idea of carrying on the family farming tradition according to his wife Kathy.
"He enjoyed it," she said. "He enjoyed working the land and carrying on the Zimmer Farm."
"It was a blessing and a great comfort to know that so many people really do care and come together in a time of tragedy. I would like to offer a special thank you to James Mayer, who lined everyone up to help with the harvest: Jim & Leo Kohn, Bruce & Pete Godbersen, Larry Pitts, Tony Stewart, Kevin Tapper, Mike, Mark, Aaron, & Tony Cronin, Roger Rupp, Roger Ashbaugh, Paul Rassel, Bob Henke, Ray Corzilius, Dick & John Weber, Dean Rupp, Dave Guntren, Tim & Ted Reis (Kathy's brothers), John & Jeremy Zimmer (her sons), and Floyd Zimmer (father-in-law) who helped with the soybean harvest, as well as the women who served the meal. It meant a lot to me and my boys," Kathy Zimmer said.