Claude R. and Blanche A. Zimmerman Memorial Endowed Piano Scholarship
Donors: Joe Zimmerman
Herb and Jane Zimmerman
Claude Zimmerman Jr.
Richard and Anne Ruble
Claude and Blanche Zimmerman were married on August 14, 1919 after Claude’s return from U.S. military duty in France near the end of World War I. They settled in Byron, a small town in northwestern Oklahoma where Claude worked as a blacksmith, sharpening plow shears and discs used by farmers in the area to cultivate the soil for the production of crops such as wheat and alfalfa. Due to a meager income, the family had only bare necessities for living. The Great Depression was difficult for everyone, but it taught outstanding qualities. Unsophisticated and humble Christians, faithful in church attendance, the Zimmermans were always willing to use some of their modest financial means to help those in need in their community as well as those spreading the gospel of Christ on the mission field.
Claude and Blanche had four sons, Claude Jr., Robert, Herbert, and Joe. Although Blanche had only a high school education and Claude terminated his education after eighth grade, they were very encouraging when three of their sons expressed interest in earning bachelor degrees. Joe attended and graduated from JBU, with considerable help from a JBU academic scholarship. Herbert also graduated from JBU with assistance from a G.I. Bill. Claude Jr. obtained a bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering which enabled him early in his career to get a job at NASA where he worked until retirement. Years later, after Joe had earned a doctorate and was serving on the JBU faculty, Claude and Blanche gave financially to help a deserving music student.
The Zimmermans had wonderful sense of humors. Claude took great delight in telling jokes and relating humorous stories he had read in Reader’s Digest. Blanche had a hearty and infectious laugh. The Zimmermans not only had a profound influence on their sons, they also enriched all the lives they touched. This scholarship was created in their memory.