The world lost a great man on November 3rd, 2023. Thane Woodard Zimmerman proudly served his country and his community. This quick-witted jokester was the third of four boys born to Theodore and Orlaine (Jo) Zimmerman in Two Harbors, MN. In trying to keep up with his older brothers, he became strong and fast. He excelled in sports, was a member of the Student Council and he was Class President. He received a scholarship to Moorhead State University to play football. He played for a year and then felt a different calling.
Thane joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966. He served two tours in the Vietnam War and was a combat Veteran. During his time in the Marines, he received meritorious promotions from Private E3 to Corporal and then from Corporal to Sergeant. Over the years, he became increasingly proud of the military service of all his brothers and extended family members.
After finishing his time in the Marines at Camp Pendelton, CA in 1969, he moved back to Moorhead with his growing family to return to college. He joined the Moorhead Police Department in 1973. He worked and attended college, graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1975. During his time on the MPD, he was a Field Training Officer, a Detective, and an Undercover Officer. Thane left the police force but continued serving his community when he became a deputy for the Clay County Sheriff's Department in 1991. While there, he was asked to be part of an Emergency Response Unit (SWAT) and was team lead from its inception in 1993 until 2005. Thane also performed loss prevention services for over 30 years for Coborn's (CashWise) throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area.
He met the love of his life, Thea, in 1980 and they married on May 20th, 1981. Together, they laughed, loved, dreamed, and lived for 42 years. They shared a passion for being creative and enjoying their friends and family. Her smile brightened his day!
Along with the honor of serving his country and community, Thane was proud of his Native American heritage as a member of the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa. The Zimmerman family totem is the Crane, which symbolizes the orator or history teller, of the tribe. And he could definitely tell the stories!! You never quite knew how much was true and how much was embellished. He was the master of one-liners and loved when someone would challenge him to a battle of banter. One thing was for sure - everyone looked forward to hearing a tale from Thane! He had a knack for making you laugh, carrying off a great prank, or drawing you into a memory and bringing it to life. He will be missed around dining room tables and campfires to come, but we will forever repeat his stories and remember the laughter and the love behind every word.
Thane has four amazing daughters, Trista Zimmerman (Jason Dorroh), Tyia Patnaude (Larry), Twana Weiler (Pat Dew), and Thayla Zimmerman and one incredible son, Christopher Carroll (Amber). He is grandpa to 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. The world will be a better place with them in it.
A memorial gathering will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 11:30 - 1:30 PM at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN.
Burial will follow in Fargo National Cemetery, Fargo, ND.