Stuart “Stu” Odell Zimmerman passed away October 2, 2021, in Houston, Texas. Stuart was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 27, 1935, to Omar and Matilda Zimmerman. He was 3 years of age when the family moved to Gallipolis, Ohio, where they lived in a historic house.
At the age of 16, prior to finishing high school, he received a scholarship to attend the University of Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors there three years later. He also received his Ph.D. in mathematical biology at the University of Chicago and was a research associate, instructor, and assistant professor there. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity where he enjoyed the friendship, intellectual discussions, and good times with his fellow Phi Delts. In 1959 he married his college sweetheart, Mary Joan Spiegel. His son, Kurt Michael Zimmerman, was born in 1960.
In 1967, he accepted a position as Associate Professor at The University of Texas Dental Branch and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute (now the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) in Houston. He was appointed Chairman of the Department of Biomathematics at MDACC in fall, 1967, a position he held until he retired in 2001. He continued in a part-time appointment until September 1, 2012, when he became Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Zimmerman epitomized the excellence for which M. D. Anderson has earned an international reputation. He combined scientific creativity and exceptional leadership skills with an innate sense of fairness and a wit that few can match. He developed one of the most dominant biomathematics/bioinformatics staff in the country. Dr. Zimmerman was named to the Mattie Allen Fair Research Chair in 1988. The following year, he received M. D. Anderson’s Outstanding Achievement Award to recognize significant contributions. He chaired the Executive Committee of the Science Faculty for 15 years.
He was a Christian and loved God and his creations. He loved funny stories and good times with good friends. He loved to travel and visited many countries around the world. He loved movies and watched his favorites over and over. He loved good food and good wine and was always trying new restaurants. He hosted many feasts at his table and at favorite restaurants, enjoying the conviviality of his innumerable friends. He had a physical presence and a gift for oratory that made him stand out everywhere.
His wife, Mary Joan, died in 2008 as the result of a stroke. In 2010 he married Judy McConathy, and they built a house and moved to Katy, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Omar and Matilda Zimmerman, and by his older brother, Don Zimmerman. He is survived by his wife Judy, his son Kurt and wife Linda, his grandson Nicholas and his wife Kailee, and his grandson Michael. His light will live on in the people who knew and loved him.
A visitation will be held from ten until eleven o’clock, followed by a funeral service from eleven o’clock until noon on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Bradshaw-Carter Funeral and Memorial Services, 1734 W. Alabama in Houston. Live streamed services will be linked at the bottom of this page. A catered reception will follow the funeral service. Burial will be at two o’clock in the afternoon at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery. To leave condolences, please visit www.bradshawcarter.com. The Livestream link is listed below.