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Tyrone community loses a ‘special guy’ in Lamoine ‘Lemon’ Zimmerman

There are those who seek recognition for the good things they do in life, but then there’s people like Lamoine “Lemon” Zimmerman.
The Tyrone community lost one of its best yesterday in Lamoine, who passed away at home at the age of 82. He will truly be missed by his kids, family, and everyone he had touched in his long life – whether it was in sports, church, or community events.
Lamoine’s wife, Anna, passed away back in January, which was of course a huge loss for him. But, he kept moving along with a heavy heart. He never stopped being active up until his last breath.
Church was important to Lemon. He was a member of the First English Lutheran Church in Tyrone, where he served as head usher.
He was heavily involved with B.P.O.E. Lodge No. 212 as a tiler, along with being a part of the Elks Student of the Month recognitions for the Tyrone Area High School.
Beyond that, sports was a passion for Lamoine. He was a PIAA basketball official for 30 years. His love for Penn State athletics drew 43 years of sweat from his brow as a football parking attendant at Beaver Stadium. He even parked cars a couple of times this year.
The list goes on and on. If Lamoine was involved in it, you were guaranteed a smile, laugh, and a job done right.
Lamoine spent many, many years running the score board at all of Tyrone’s football games, from junior high on up to the varsity level. Although he no longer kept score for football games in recent years, you could bet he wasn’t far from the action.
Former Tyrone High Athletic Director of 14 years and current school board member, Pete Dutrow, used the word “outstanding” to describe Lamoine as a person and his support of athletics at Tyrone. He said that Lamoine really helped him out a lot during his tenure as athletic director.
“Zimmy took care of the clock, and he’d literally take it home with him,” said Dutrow. “When we got ready for the scrimmages at the beginning of the season, he’d call me up to go to the field to make sure everything was working in the press box.”
He added, “Lamoine never missed an event. He was quiet, he did his job, and he never criticized.”
Dutrow said that Lamoine was someone he could always depend on and was always wearing a smile on his face.
“He enjoyed life and was a good person,” stated Dutrow. “He was a behind the scenes man, a nuts and bolts guy, who didn’t want the recognition.”
Gary McGovern, who is an Elks member involved with the Youth Recognition Banquet, along with being the public address announcer for Tyrone football games, had spent many Friday nights with Lamoine, as well as Elks events.
“He’s a special guy,” said McGovern, who spoke to Lamoine this past Sunday at church. “He came up to me and said he was excited about the Powder Puff game next Thursday – he said he would be there.”
McGovern continued by saying that Lamoine’s been synonymous with school and youth activities, as well as community and church. He said that his presence was almost taken for granted, because he did it for so long that it became expected.
“He did what he could do for as long as he could do it,” added McGovern. “He always contributed, because he loved it.”
Lamoine’s sister-in-law and Tyrone Borough Council member, Virgie Werner, said that Lamoine “had a big, big heart.” She said that he knew everybody, and everybody knew him.
“He loved people,” noted Werner. “You could always count on Lamoine to give you a hand.”
Werner said that Lamoine was a very good husband and that family was important to him. Her late husband, Herb, was the brother of Lamoine’s wife.
“We all loved him,” added Werner. “He was good to everyone. He was a good egg and we’re going to miss him, that’s for sure.”
She continued, “He was involved in so many things and he’d always look forward to meeting the kids. You knew when he was around.”
Tyrone Mayor Jim Kilmartin said that Lamoine’s passing was a “real blow to our community.” He really enjoyed and appreciated Lamoine, and he said that his presence will be sadly missed.
“Lamoine was a great guy who was really loved and respected by all,” added Kilmartin. “He was just a great citizen and a great person.”
On a personal note, I have known Lemon my whole life – through sports, school, or just out and about in Tyrone. He was truly an unbelievable person. Not once did he ever judge me or criticize me for any of my wrong doings and bad decisions. I always respected that so much.
He always saw the good in me and nothing else. He was like that with everyone. There’s just not many people on this planet who are like that.
The Daily Herald staff could always count on Lamoine dropping into the office to chat about football or whatever else was on his mind. The one guarantee that we always had with him was that he would make us laugh. I didn’t know anybody that didn’t like Lamoine.
Lamoine wanted to help people, and he did. Just last Thursday at the Tyrone Junior High football game, I was on my way up to the press box looking for Coach Franco when Lamoine stopped me to say hello.
I didn’t even see him right away, because he was under the home bleachers picking up garbage and collecting the aluminum soda cans. That’s the kind of guy Lamoine Zimmerman was.
My final image of Lamoine came last Friday at the Herald office. He came in to jokingly harass and pick on Christina and I, but at the same time he asked us how our daughter was doing. The man cared about everyone. Whether young or old, you knew who Lamoine was.
Yes, he will truly be missed.