Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

Today is

James B. Zimmerman

James B. Zimmerman ("JimZim"), 57, of Urbana died at 3:13 p.m. Monday (April 21, 2014) at Carle Foundation Hospital. 

zimmermanHe was born in Lincoln Illinois on August 30, 1956. At the age of 5, Jim was adopted by Bryan and Shirley (Lockenour) Zimmerman. He grew up in both Lincoln and Pekin, Ill. 

Jim was a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served for three years. After returning from the service, Jim attended several local area colleges, with a focus in Parks and Recreation Management. Jim had a passion for Illinois Prairie preservation. He was involved with numerous local prairie reconstruction projects, most notably the Barnhart-Grove Prairie. Jim was also a talented metalworker, executing his designs in pierced, hammered and painted sheet metal. Most of his adult life had been spent in and around the Champaign-Urbana area in the specialty landscaping trade.

Jim was a great outdoorsman. He loved nature so that he would rather sleep in a wooded area on the grass than in a nice warm bed. He was a survivor as he had been fighting colon cancer for 3 1/2 years. 

He will be greatly missed by his mother, Shirley L. Leslie and step-father, Dwayne of Carson City, Nev., his daughter, Susan Magyar (Joe) of League City, Tex., and three beautiful granddaughters, Kailee, Shelby and Alissa. Jim  is also survived by an uncle Harry Lockenour (Shirley ) of Waxahachie, Tex., an aunt Judy Hayes of Lodi, Calif. and several cousins.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, Bryan Zimmerman Jr. of Lincoln , Ill., his brother Allen Zimmerman and an uncle Dr. I.M. “Buddy” Hayes of Lodi Calif.

A celebration of life will be held from 4-6 p.m. on June 1, 2014, at the Barnhart-Grove Prairie at 1413 East Old Church Road in Urbana, Ill. Remember to bring along a hug and a smile as this is a celebration of Jim’s life.  He was a wonderful young man that lived his life to the fullest. We give thanks to GOD that we had him with us as long as we did.

Condolences may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.


We are so very sorry for your loss and keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Jim was a remarkable, thoughtful, and very talented person. His many fine works of art and the prairies he helped create are a wonderful legacy of his time with us. It was a privilege to know and work with him.

Mary Kay Solecki and John Taft