Leonard Zimmerman

Leonard Zimmerman, 84, of 18 Tower Lane, New Haven on Friday, April 20, 2012. Born in Brooklyn, September 19, 1927, son of the late Hyman and Sadie Zimmerman, widower of Rosemary Kelly Zimmerman, brother to Florence Judd, Natalie Zimmerman and Teddy Zimmerman. Father to Raymond (Freemansburg, PA), Christopher (Brooklyn), David (Brooklyn), Kerry (St. Louis), and Brian Zimmerman (Brooklyn). US Navy, 1945-1948. BSEE Magna cum Laude, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, 1952. Electrical Engineer at Bell Laboratories 1952-1978. Holder of US patent 3,810,235. As a retiree, active as a vollunteer for many social and political organizations.

Service in the Weller Funeral Home, 493 Whitney Ave., New Haven Thursday afternoon at 2.  Memorial contributions may be sent to the Union of Concerned Scientists (www.ucsusa.org) or  Obama for America (www.barackobama.com).

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  1. Kathleen (Marshall) Troeger said,

    04.25.12 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Ray, Christopher, David, Brian and Kerry,
    We played as the kids of engineers at your house and on our boat. Although as adults we are no longer in contact – your father remained a close and valued friend to our parents – especially Joe Marshall, who regarded Lenny Zimmerman as a trusted colleague and occasional co-conspirator. Your father’s intellectual curiosity, sense of humor and spirited friendship will be deeply missed. Please find some comfort knowing that it will not be easily forgotten. With sympathy,
    Kathleen, Carolyn and Renee

  2. Kulbir Bhalla said,

    04.26.12 at 12:02 pm


    I wish you
    The very best;
    May you rest,
    And savor what’s new.


  3. Charles Byrne said,

    04.26.12 at 3:27 pm

    To Len’s family,

    Len had many friends, and I was one of them. We had wide-ranging lunch discussions when we both worked at Bell Labs about 40 years ago. Presciently, Len wrote me a memory card then when I left for Bell Labs, Columbus, recalling our discussions of philosophy.

    Fast forward about 35 years when Len was about to move to Connecticut, and looking to replace his seat in Matthew Raspanti’s philosophy seminar. A remarkable thing happened. Len opened an envelope addressed to him from the DNC with an inner envelope addressed to me. The Democratic National Committeee reestablished the connection! Finding I had moved back to Middletown, NJ, he reached out to me and recruited me to Matthew’s group, which I still enjoy.

    I have continued an exchange of E-Mails with Len since, and will miss the contact..

    Peace to Len and consolation to his family.


  4. stanley and sondra applebaum said,

    04.26.12 at 3:28 pm

    Lenny was a true gentleman. Courteous and intelligent in every way. We loved his enthusiasm and happy laughter. what a privilege to have known him.

  5. Steve Unger said,

    04.27.12 at 6:16 pm

    [This was submitted 4/25/12, and, for some unknown reason was not posted.]

    Starting way back when we were freshmen at Brooklyn Poly, Len was one of my best friends. During the second semester of that first year, which was during the summer for those of us who started in February, I remember well how we sweated together over our drawing boards in that era prior to air conditioning. As EEs, we were outraged at having to learn to draw diagrams of intricate mechanical parts. At no point were we taught anything about electrical circuit diagrams.

    Equally remote from our professional interests, tho less grueling, were our German classes, lightened by a good-natured instructor, who taught us to sing German marching songs. Ever since then, we frequently referred to each other as “Herr Zimmerman” and “Herr Unger”.

    Over the years, Len and I hiked and sailed together, played tennis, badminton, and ping pong. We were founding members of the philosophy club, starting from when we were both at Bell Labs. We discussed many philosophical topics, usually agreeing about the fundamental issues, while hotly debating the politics.

    Atho we didn’t work directly with one another at Bell Labs, I know his co-workers considered him as the top of the line. One episode that people talked about occurred during the field trial, in Morris Illinois, of the first electronic switching system, which he helped design. The system mysteriously broke down at some point, while Len was in Whippany. Receiving a distress call from the engineers on site, Len asked a few questions and then, after a little thought, explained the problem and told them how to make it go away.

    Over the decades that we were friends, I found Len to be a wonderful human being. Apart from his exceptional intellect, his pleasant personality and wry sense of humor always made him good company. His sense of responsibility and honesty was outstanding. Having him as a friend enriched my life, and I will always miss him.

  6. Annie Murray and Gus de los Reyes said,

    04.27.12 at 10:59 pm

    To Len’s family,
    I am so sorry for your loss; I will miss the correspondence I had with your dad. He was very proud of his children and loved to brag about all of you. I met Len about 20 years ago when we were both taking a computer science class at Brookdale Community College. He helped me do some consulting in computer science, and impressed me with his interesting thoughts on a variety of subjects, and his engineering acumen. He was a great colleague and an inspiration to both me and my husband, as he stayed so active, riding his bike everywhere, and we always had interesting conversations, even after I left engineering and went into teaching. I enjoyed our annual “Christmas” correspondence; he had an interesting take on world events. May he rest in peace and may your friends and family comfort you. With deepest sympathy, Annie and Gus

  7. Norman Weliky said,

    05.01.12 at 3:45 am

    I am one of Len’s first cousins and practically grew up with him and his family. He has been one of my favorite people. I have been in touch with him for many years together as a youth and more recently by Email. I shall miss his closeness as a relative and as an intellect with whom I could exchange ideas. He has had a difficult life from childhood on. His father died in a taxi with him there as a child. He experienced more difficulties in his later life. Yet he kept his spirir and love for his famly and empathy for humanity to his last days.

  8. Mrs. Thomas H. (Tommy) Thompson said,

    05.02.12 at 3:50 am

    We are sorry to hear of your loss. Len was a wondeful and creative engineer who represented the best of what made Bell Laboratories the world class institution it was.

    Janet Thompson