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Sylva Zimmerman


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Sylva Isabelle Michael Zimmerman passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, April 12, 2019 at the age of  96 while at Settler’s Park, where she had been a resident many years.

Sylva was born to Frank & Clara Michael on February 12, 1923 in Brownsville, OR.  The family eventually moved to Cottage Grove OR and Sylva graduated from Cottage Grove High School as the class Salutatorian. She also won several awards for distinguished efforts in many of her classes. Her love of study and research remained throughout her life.

During the summer following graduation while working in a small café, she met Everett Zimmerman. He was doing construction work in the area. They married later that year, October 22, 1941.

A few months later, Everett was drafted into the US Army and was shipped to Pearl Harbor where he remained for nearly 3 years. Sylva was pregnant when he left and gave birth to their son, Charles on November 24, 1942.

During the time Everett was stationed in Hawaii, Sylva & Charles moved to Coos Bay to live with her mother & father and her younger sister, Frances. She found employment as a clerk at CC Anderson’s, a high end clothing store and eventually became the buyer for the women’s wear department.

When Everett returned home, they moved to Baker and soon their daughter Suzanne was born. Everett began his career with Safeway and Sylva became a full time homemaker. They moved to Hermiston for a short time with Safeway, then returned permanently to Baker.

In 1956 they moved from their home on North Cedar Street to the family ranch in Missouri Flat as Everett’s mother & uncle chose to move to town from the family ranch and then it became home to Everett, Sylva and the children. They raised registered Angus and Everett continued as manager of the Safeway store.

Sylva was very invested in the local Toastmistress club and went on to win the grand prize of their International Club at the annual convention which was held that year in San Francisco. She also won a national bake off contest with Betty Crocker and flew to Michigan with Everett for the finals. Her beef & pork meatball recipe won a blue ribbon and cash prize as first place in that category.

Sylva successfully sold real estate for Curfman & Ullman Realty and was also active as Chairwoman of the Red Cross in Eastern Oregon. Later in life she worked part time for her dear friend Jo Curtis at Curtis Jewelry Store.

Following Everett’s retirement from Safeway, Sylva & Everett sold the family ranch & bought a small acreage in Auburn and had a home built. They remained there until they settled into their last home on Broadway by the river and had a constant stream of friends drop by daily. They held a weekly bible study in their home for years and many people told us how blessed they had been by Sylva’s teaching and their warm hospitality.

Sylva continued to live in their home after Everett’s passing in Oct. 2002 until she fell while on a walk with a friend and severely broke her wrist. It was a complex break that left her unable to care for herself. She refused to go to Portland or Phoenix to be with her children as “all of her friends were here”. Thus she became a resident of Settler’s Park where she remained with their extremely competent care.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank & Clara Michael, her husband Everett in 2002 and their son Charles in 2012. She is survived by their daughter Suzanne, her husband Michael Canifax of Portland OR; 3 grandsons, Matt Zimmerman, Mike & Mark Canifax; great grandchildren Kyle, Jake, Rylie, MacKenzie, Mikayla, Madison and Merci & great great granddaughter Addison. She is also survived by her sister Frances Oldland of Central Point OR and her nephew Jim Oldland of Central Point OR.

She was a member of the Island City Foursquare Church where she often was asked to help with the Sunday message. Pastor Ted Davis was a great comfort to both Sylva & Everett.

Sylva was also active with Women’s Aglow and spoke at many cities for them. She was always willing to share her faith.

There will be a family graveside service for Sylva at Mt. Hope Cemetery.  For those who would like to make a memorial donation in memory of Sylva may do so to the Benevolence Ministry (they help people in need) through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834.  Online condolences may be shared at

To send flowers to Sylva's family, please visit our floral section.


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