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Mary M. Zimmerman

February 11, 1939 ~ November 4, 2018 (age 79)

East Otis – Rev. Mary Magovern Zimmerman passed away at the age of 79, with her family by her side, on Sunday, November 4, 2018.  She was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer only three weeks before her death. Mary is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Rev. Roger W. Zimmerman; her son, Mark Zimmerman and his wife Robin of Lynchburg, VA; her daughters, Kathryn Zimmerman and her husband Jeff Fligelman of Redding, CT, and Mary Beth Whittle and her husband John of Louisville, KY; her 5 grandchildren, Meghan Zimmerman, Ben Fligelman, Jack, Kate, and Anna Whittle; her 2 brothers, Robert Magovern and his wife Peggy of Agawam, and Charlie Magovern and his wife Florence of Boulder, CO; sisters-in-law, Lois Magovern and Martha Zimmerman; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Jack Magovern, and her sister Marjorie Greenough. She was born in Springfield to the late John and Dorothy (Bodurtha) Magovern on February 11, 1939 and was raised in Agawam. After graduating from Agawam High School in 1956, Mary earned her BS degree at Boston University in 1960.  She continued her education and academic accomplishments at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Union Seminary in New York City, where she met Roger, and Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts where she received her Master’s of Religious Education in 1963. In 1975, she was ordained as a minister within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and later received training and accreditation as a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.  Mary impacted many people through her life’s vocation as a minister, Christian educator, and Pastoral counselor, and she and Roger enjoyed serving together at several churches during their ministerial careers.  Mary ministered to churches in Newton Centre, MA; Washington D.C.; Bloomington, IL; Corvallis, OR; Louisville, KY; and Lynchburg, VA.  For the past 16 years, she and Roger have enjoyed retirement in East Otis, Massachusetts at their home on Big Pond.  In 2017, they transitioned to Reed’s Landing on Wilbraham Road in Springfield, MA to enjoy their winter months. Mary was an avid reader and Scrabble player, talented on the piano, and known for her extraordinary gift of giving children’s sermons in worship. Being ordained as a woman in 1975 set her apart as a trailblazer within the clergy, but her greatest contributions were as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and loyal and dedicated friend to many. Her friends and family marvel at her life of generosity, kindness, warmth, quick wit, hospitality, and remember her engaging smile and welcoming spirit. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held on Friday November 9, 2018 at 11:00 am at First Congregational Church, 18 Broad Street, Westfield, MA. A private interment will be held at Otis Center Cemetery. Mary’s faith and passion for helping others was reflected in her devotion to resettlement of dozens of refugees throughout her lifetime. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name can be made to First Congregational Church, WARM (Welcoming Assistance Refugee Ministries), 18 Broad Street, Westfield, MA 01085. For more information or to leave a condolence for the family please visit: www.forastiere.com.

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