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David J. Zimmerman, 76, history teacher and preservation leader

David J. Zimmerman, 76, history teacher and preservation leader

June 4, 1941 – Oct. 31, 2017

David John Zimmerman, of Lockport, a retired history teacher and preservation leader, died Tuesday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a lengthy illness. He was 76.

Born in Cleveland, he earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University in 1964 and a master’s degree in education from the University at Buffalo.

Mr. Zimmerman taught history at Kenmore East High School from 1964 to 1981, then at Benjamin Franklin Junior High School until his retirement in 1998. An innovative instructor, he challenged the Board of Education and got approval for adding two courses on the Vietnam War, which he offered for more than 10 years.

Active as a preservationist in Lockport, he was president of Historic Lockport and founder of Friends of Union Station.

Recently he performed reenactments of pioneering Erie Canal advocate Jessie Hawley and Lockport industrialist Charles Upson for the Niagara County Historical Society and the PBS documentary, “Erie: The Canal That Made America.”

He was a lifelong collector and operator of Lionel trains, a hobby he shared with his brother and son.

Surviving are his wife of 53 years, the former Carol Nevling; a son, Todd; a daughter, Jennifer; and a brother, Richard.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 in Prudden and Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport.

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