Lyla Zimmerman, 97 / April 5, 1912 – March 11, 2010

Published 1:50pm Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lyla Sarah Zimmerman, 97, of Cassopolis died Thursday, March 11, 2010 in Riveridge Manor Nursing Home, Niles after an extended illness.

She was born April 5, 1912 in Dowagiac to the late Nathan and Ruth (McCoy) White and was a lifetime area resident. Lyla achieved a distinguished career as a civil servant with duties both with Cass County government and State of Michigan appointment as secretary and office manager of the Cass County Parole and Probation Office, a position she held until she was 70.

Lyla’s family had an extensive and long presence as notable Cass County farmers. She continued with the family tradition, maintaining a large farming operation on Dailey Road and specializing in draft horses. She cared for several horses until she was more than 90 years of age and only reluctantly gave up their companionship. Lyla loved nature and animals, and on her farm enjoyed the annual migration of whooping cranes, discovering morel mushrooms, feeding birds and watching her beloved horses romping in the nearby fields.

Lyla was a person of great independence, courage and determination. Her one great sorrow was the early accidental death of her one child, John, at age 18. Her husband, Willard Wehn Zimmerman, preceded her in death.

A graveside service for Lyla was Monday, March 15, 2010 at 2 p.m. at Riverside Cemetery, Dowagiac. Officiating was Pastor Patti Haas of Pokagon United Methodist Church, Pokagon.

Connelly Funeral Home, Cassopolis handled the arrangements. Online condolences can be left at

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