LAFAYETTE - Glenn Eugene "Gene" Zimmerly, 78, passed on to his heavenly reward on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, at 1:05 a.m., at Richland Manor, Bluffton. Gene suffered a stroke 19 years ago and stayed home for 16.5 years then spent the last two and one half years at Richland Manor where he was loved by everybody. He was born on Jan. 1, 1936, in Allen County, to Glenn L. and Helen J. (Allstetter) Zimmerly, who preceded him in death. On Sep. 25, 1955, he married Carolyn Joyce McElwain and she survives in Lima.

Gene retired after working for 40 years for the Allen County Engineers Office where he worked as the County Surveyor. He also worked as a private land surveyor for 10 years. He was a member of the LaFayette Congregational Christian Church where he served as a trustee and deacon. He also worked as the janitor at the church for many years.

Gene helped to establish the Midget Football Program in the LaFayette area and coached for nine years. He was an avid sports fan and especially loved the OSU Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns. He was known on the CB radio as Papa Bear and talked to many people. Collecting lanterns was one of his hobbies. Gene loved his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Also surviving are four sons, Kent (Rhonda) Zimmerly, of Lima, Garry Zimmerly, of Delaware, Mike (Teresa) Zimmerly, of Lima, and John (Cindy) Zimmerly, of Lima; one daughter, Angela (Brad) Richardson, of Alger; 14 grandchildren, Andrea (Rich) Bryant, Jessica Zimmerly, Joshua (Brittanie) Zimmerly, Brian (Jill Dovale) Zimmerly, Ashley (Ryan) Arn, Steven (Corey) Zimmerly, Jacob (Erin) Zimmerly, Mark (Liz) Zimmerly, John (Sierra Laman) Zimmerly Jr., Taylor Richardson, Madison Zimmerly, Katelyn Richardson, Gabriel Zimmerly and Allyson Richardson; two stepgrandchildren, Kenton Gibson and Grant Gibson; seventeen great-grandchildren; a brother, Donavin (Dorothy) Zimmerly, of Ada; and three sisters, Marjorie (Ron) McKee, of Ada, Karen (Luis) Avila, of Russells Point and Sharon Kipker, of Lewistown. He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Zimmerly.

Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, at LaFayette Congregational Christian Church, LaFayette, with Pastor David Thompson and Pastor Harrison Underwood officiating. Burial will be in LaFayette Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to Richland Manor of Bluffton and/or LaFayette Congregational Christian Church.

Condolences may be expressed at www.hansonneely.com.