Lon “Lonnie” Zimmerman, 64, of Anaconda, passed away on Friday, Jan. 22, surrounded by his loving family following a nearly three-month fight with COVID-19.
Lon was born in McLaughlin, SD on Dec. 9, 1956 to Benny and Lorraine (Stugelmeyer) Zimmerman. The family moved several times before settling in Anaconda in 1958.
Always looking for ways to get out of school and into mischief, Lon graduated from Anaconda High in 1975. He worked several odd jobs until landing with Montana Muffler in 1979. He then began working with AFFCo in 1988 where he stayed until his death.
Along with his many hobbies, he was always looking to make a little extra on the side. One of his business ventures led to owning The Bank Shot with Mike Blotkamp, an early 90s billiards hall and bar on the corner of Park and Main in Anaconda.
Lon and his wife of 41 years, Dottie (Kloker) Zimmerman were married June 24, 1979, and raised two daughters: Montana Klanecky and Melissa Hempstead. The couple treasured their family, especially their grandchildren Peyton (18), Gracey (16), Trevin (9), Justine (9) and Cameron (8).
Lon was the consummate provider and family man, arranging everything from Sunday dinners and picnics to holiday celebrations at their home. He was an avid race fan, spending much of his free time at the Lost Creek Raceway, at the yard with his grandson Peyton or on the road searching for his next junk vehicle or diamond-in-the-rough, classic car or truck to add to his massive collection.
People who knew the man behind the scowl and dusty, worn work boots knew him to be thoughtful and caring. The luckiest of us all were the ones who received one of Lon’s bear hugs, were on the other end of a dirty joke or had their hands swallowed by his healthy handshake.
Although his friends and fellow enthusiasts were vast and loyal, he will be missed most by Hondo Miller, who together began the Laid Back Swap Meet and Car Show that was held every August and will continue in Lon’s honor.
Lon is survived by his wife, Dottie; daughters, Montana Klanecky (Peyton and Gracey Klanecky) and Melissa (Blake) Hempstead (Trevin, Justine and Cameron Hempstead); sister Marcy Day; and brother, Glen (Nilda) Zimmerman; brother-in-law Dave (Donna) Kloker; and numerous extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, father-and mother-in-law, Walter “Slick” and Letha (Lovell) Kloker; sister Renee Holbrooke; in-laws Tom and Ellen Kloker, Frank and Letha Pusich, Roy and Madonna Furthmyre, Rosie McNeil and Jack Day.
Since March, the family has taken this virus seriously, going as far as halting family gatherings in order to do the very least to stay healthy. Unfortunately, even with the precautions, this virus took away the man we all depended on most. The family pleads with you to do the very minimum by social distancing and wearing masks whenever possible.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations on behalf of Lon to the Lost Creek Raceway, the Anaconda Teachers Union Scholarship or Safe Escape with Anaconda Rotary.
Services will be held at a later date and will be announced when arrangements are complete.
Please visit below to offer a condolence or share a memory of Lon.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Lon and his family.
Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.
The Gallicano Family says
Bill, Max & I are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts are with you at this time. – The Gallicano Family
Rich Potvin says
I am so saddened to hear the loss of a great friend, Lonnie will always be remembered in our hearts. My dearest sympathy to Dotty and all the family. May he rest in peace.
Denise Horne says
Dotty, I am so sorry to read of Lon’s passing. Thinking of and praying for you Love Denise Horne
Carol Kirby says
Dottie and family
My sympathy for your loss . May your memories of him and your time together comfort you in your grief.
Kathleen Russell says
Love and hugs to you all from Anna, Nik and Kathleen Russell
Bill Ehman says
Our condolences to the family. Lon will be sadly missed by us and many others.
The Ehman Boys, Bill and Mikey
Barb Fenchak says
Dottie so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and are with you and your family.
Bill Hall says
I’m so sorry for your loss . I Miss having you guys for a neighbor, good neighbors are hard to find .I’ll miss Lon he was a real good guy .
Ken & Cyndi Thompson says
Deep felt sympathy to your family. Lon will be greatly missed.
Ken & Cyndi Thompson
Sundberg Family says
I remember Lon from Montana Muffler mostly and chance meetings here and there, he was always trying to get one car from me he had fond memories of riding in the back seat of as a child.
I want to express my heartfelt condolences to his family and our deepest sympathies.
Joann Proxell says
Dottie, Tanna, Melissa & Family — Our deepest sympathy to all of your family. Hold onto the cherished memories and God Bless!
John and Ree Stevenson says
We are so sorry that Lon’s time with Dottie, kids and grandkids was cut short-God speed Lonnie and continue to watch over your great loves in life-they will feel your presence🙏🙏🙏
John and Ree STEVENSON
Sending our greatest sympathy, thoughts, prayers to your family at such a heartbreaking time. Lonnie fought a thought battle, and would want you to keep all those memories close to your heart. Duane and Francie VandeKop 💔🙏🏻💞
Jon Bogut says
Very sorry for your loss. I will miss bullshitting with Lon at the yard. He was always fair to me, to deal with. Also will miss talking to him at the swap meet that he started. I’m very honored to have know him. Lon will be greatly missed. Jon Bogut
Bob Smith says
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dottie and family for the loss of this fine man. Bob and Peggy Smith.
Ann Morani says
Bob, Emily and I are saddened by Lon’s death. He was a great man, always willing to help others- what a beautiful obituary in his honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
Laurie Niland says
George and I are so sorry for your loss. Lon was a great friend. He will be missed by all.
Colt Klemann says
Our condolences to your family. Hands down the best man I’ve ever met! He will be greatly missed by us and everyone else who has had the opportunity to meet this man. Much love to your family from the Klemann family, Colt, Brittney, and our children
E.G. Leipheimer says
I too knew that behind that scowl was a kind and caring man. May God hold Lonnie and his family in his hands.
Lori Tammen says
Dotty and family, so sorry to hear of Lon’s passing. My sincerest sympathy and prayers to you all.
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Tammy Pauley says
All of your family here from First American Hamilton surround you and your family in love and prayers.
Lana Slouber says
Dottie…such a loss for you and your family. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
Howard Baker says
I’m so sorry for your loss prayers to you and your family. Lonnie and I took shop classes together he was a talented mechanic.
Jason Nelson says
Lonny was my dads best friend he will be greatly missed we loved you so much Lonny
From the Nelson family and Amanda
Lance & Cheri Clampitt says
I just learned of Lon’s passing and the unanswered texts are now making sense. To Dottie and all the family I want to extend our condolences. My wife and I made several trips over to visit the yard for parts but after the first trip it became more of a trip to visit with Lon. Such a nice guy and he always welcomed us and shared stories of the car that got away or the way things used to be. Lon, you will be missed