By SHARON BAUMBAUGH
Harold M. Zimmerman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry M. Zimmerman of Welsh Run, completed a six-month course at the Cincinnati Embalming School in September 1942, and entered the employ of Arvid Minnich at Minnich Funeral Home on East Baltimore Street. Mr. Zimmerman succeeded C. Ross Myers, who was inducted into the U.S. Army and was stationed at Camp Grant in Rockford, Ill.
The new member of Minnich's staff would soon be called to military duty too. He served for three years, most of the time in India during World War II, part of the military police in the U.S. Army's 1214th attached to the 20th Air Force. (He would later be a member of the China-Burma-India Veterans' Association.) Following discharge, he returned to Greencastle, working for the Barbour Funeral Home in Chambersburg, then the Fretz Funeral Home in Lewistown, and then the Bender Funeral Home in Gettysburg.
Oct. 1, 1948, a new funeral home would open in Greencastle. The location of the new home to be opened by Mr. Zimmerman was on South Carlisle Street, the former Charles W. Carl property. The building was undergoing remodeling that summer and redecorating in preparation for the new business. Mr. Zimmerman leased the entire property from the Carl Estate and would occupy the second floor as an apartment. The lower floor would include a chapel, show room, family room and embalming room. The new funeral director was a graduate of Greencastle High School, Class of 1941.
Zimmerman would join the Rescue Hose Company in 1949, serving in a variety of offices that included vice president, trustee, engineer, chaplain and fire apparatus driver.
In 1952, the funeral home would move following the purchase of the Conn property at 27 S. Carlisle St. The dwelling was renovated throughout to provide a modern funeral home. The move was done in September, three doors farther south on the same street.
The Zimmerman Funeral Home would place a new 1955 sedan ambulance in service in August.
Two years later, the funeral home would add a two-level cot to the ambulance which was maintained for the transporting of sick and injured persons. The cot bed could be raised to almost hospital-bed height and allowed easier transfer of patients to a hospital bed or x-ray table.
The funeral home would be accepted into the fellowship of an international organization of funeral directors known in the profession as 'The Order of the Golden Rule'. This distinction was given in 1959. The same distinction was given for several consecutive years by the trade association.
Mr. Zimmerman would be elected president of the Capital City Funeral Directors' Association in December 1968. The meeting and election were held at the Carlisle Country Club.
In June 1980, H. Martin Zimmerman Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold M. Zimmerman, 45 S. Carlisle St., graduated from Shippensburg State College where he received his bachelor of science degree in business administration. He would begin studies in the fall of that year at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He would graduate summa cum laude from the Institute in August 1981, and join the family business.
That same year, a second building was purchased. The McLaughlin property, next door to the funeral home would be the subject of renovation that would include joining the two buildings and expanding. The connection of the two buildings added space and services offered. Both of the buildings that now make up the funeral home were on original lots as laid out for the town by Col. John Allison.
The McLaughlin property had a history of business ventures. Prior to World War I, Dr. C.M. McLaughlin had his offices in the building. Following the physician's death, Squire John M. Metcalf rented the rooms, as did Attorney Rudolf M. Wertime, and Borough Tax Collector Bruce H. Daley. Mrs. William McLaughlin later operated a beauty shop on the premises.
The next year the funeral home would be accepted as a representative of Associated Funeral Directors' Service.
The name would change to Zimmerman and Son Funeral Home in January 1988, almost 40 years after the business started. It was operated first by Harold and Jean Zimmerman, and now by Marty and Marcie Zimmerman.
Very active in the community, Mr. Zimmerman Sr. was a long-time member of the Greencastle Lions Club, the Enoch Brown Park & Monument Association; and served as president of the Old Home Week Triennial Executive Committee; as well as being a part of many other groups and organizations.
He and Arvid Minnich of Minnich Funeral Home (last week's topic of this space) would offer 24-hour ambulance service to the community until October 1967, when the two funeral homes donated their ambulances for the new Ambulance Squad that would form as part of the Rescue Hose Co. No. 1. More on this next week.