Jack William Zimmerly Jr., Brownsburg, Indiana, went home to be with His Lord and Savior on January 14, 2024. He passed peacefully in his sleep in the presence of his beloved wife, Alice.

Jack was born February 18, 1952, at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, the first son of the late Jack and Gloria Zimmerly.

Jack spent his childhood exploring on his bicycle and in the woods. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts in 1969 and graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in Waterford, Pennsylvania in 1970. He attended Penn State Behrend Campus for two years.

His love of adventure led him to leave college and join the United States Marine Corps where he was commissioned as a second Lieutenant and earned the nickname “Mad Jack” as a CH-46 helicopter pilot. Jack would say that his greatest experience during that time was receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He was discipled by a member of the Navigators.

As Jack neared the end of his five-year commitment with the Corps, he returned home to reconnect with his high school sweetheart, Alice Pifer. They were married on July 9, 1977, and began their life of adventure together by traveling to complete his tour at NAS Atsugi Japan.

Jack returned to college and graduated with a BS in Biology from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1980, and then from the University of Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1983. While in undergraduate and medical school Jack continued to serve in the Oklahoma National Guard as an attack helicopter pilot.

After an internship in Erie, Pennsylvania, Captain Jack joined the United States Army as a General Medical Officer and served in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Greely, Alaska, Fort Wainwright, Alaska (where he also served as Flight Surgeon), and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. In addition to being actively involved in the local church, he pursued his hobbies of flying, cross-country running, biking, spelunking, carpentry, blacksmithing, tinkering in the garage, and singing with his wife. He shared these interests with his four sons and encouraged them in their various endeavors.

In 1994, Jack took his love of flying to a new level by moving his family back to Alaska where he pursued a job as a bush pilot. As thrilling as that was, Jack realized the Lord was calling him back to medicine when he was offered a full-time job at the Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue, Alaska.

In the winter of 1996, it was time to move back closer to family in Pennsylvania where Jack accepted a job at the Agape Health Center in DuBois, Pennsylvania. After completing a two-year contract, Jack decided to become a locums tenens doctor, serving Indian Reservations  in North and South Dakota as well as back to Alaska and overseas with the Army to Kosovo for Operation Joint Guardian.

Following the attack of September 11, 2001, Jack volunteered for multiple tours of duty with the Army, including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Kosovo; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia; and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. He achieved the rank of Colonel and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal, among other awards. While in Afghanistan, he completed the inaugural running of the Minefield Marathon.

After retiring from the military, Jack continued working as a physician, providing care in the civilian setting and also as a medical director in the correctional setting. He continued running, enjoyed interacting with his numerous cats and beloved dog, Cuddles, participated in Bible study and worship at Bethany Evangelical Covenant Church of DuBois, PA, and led the restoration of an antique Nash Quad. Jack also opened his home to many families in need and to two Iraqi translators who had assisted him in Iraq as they began new lives in the United States.

Jack’s life was one that was covered by God’s provision and protection. In March 1989, on a return flight with his pastor from a church conference in Mountain Village, Alaska, Jack’s Cessna 185 experienced a throttle linkage failure, forcing him to crash-land in a forest clearing. The plane was a total loss, but both men walked out alive with minor injuries. 

In 2020, after receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Jack swiftly decided to move to Brownsburg, Indiana, to be close to his eight grandchildren, whom he adored. He spent the remainder of his years attending birthday celebrations, soccer games, and other family events. At every opportunity, he told his wife, children, and grandchildren he loved them and how proud he was of them. He looked forward with joy to the opportunity to fly again in heaven.

In addition to his wife, Alice, survivors include four sons – David (Cathern) and their daughter Abagail; Philip (Dana) and their daughters Natalie Grace, Kathleen, and Michaela; Stephen (Rachel) and their children, Nolan, Ephraim, August, and Junia; and Joshua (Kayla). Jack also has three siblings, Barbara Zimmerly Pionati (Francis), David Zimmerly (Evelyn); and Elizabeth Zimmerly Weldon (Pat). Other survivors also include his nieces and nephews, Sharon, Jay, Carol, Augustin, Katie, Grace, and James. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Michael Zimmerly. 

Friends may visit at the Matthews Mortuary, 690 E. 56th Street, Brownsburg, Indiana, on Thursday, January 18, from 4-7pm, and are invited to a funeral service at Hope Evangelical Covenant Church, 8615 Spring Mill Rd., Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday, January 19, at 11am. Interment will take place at Waterford Cemetery (Old State Road), Waterford, Pennsylvania on Saturday, January 27th at 11:00 am.

The family would like to thank the Indiana VA Grace Team, Brownsburg Homewatch CareGivers, especially DeLisa Green, and the Life’s Journey Hospice for their care and kindness during Jack’s illness.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Mission Meadows Camp  www.missionmeadows.org/donate 201 New York 430, Dewittville, NY 14728  or Bethesda Christian School  www.bcspatriots.org 7858 N. County Road 650 E. Brownsburg, IN 46112