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Gabe Zimmerman

I considered Gabe Zimmerman a friend, but never had the chance to get to know him as well as I should have. I asked Daniel Graver, a friend and former co-worker of Zimmerman’s, to write a short piece on him and he was willing to do so.

Gabe Zimmerman was one of the best men I have ever met. He had a true, kind heart, and he would go out of his way to help people in trouble. Gabe got his MSW because he wanted a degree that gave him a hands-on way to change his community. Gabe followed his passion to the Congressional office, where he spent the last four years working late nights and weekends, fighting case-by-case to help people in Southern Arizona.

Gabe was a natural born peacemaker, an angel to those in need, and a tireless force for a kinder community and a better world. But I will also remember Gabe as an always smiling, always energetic, and frequently goofy friend.

Forty-eight hours before Gabrielle’s first election in 2006, Gabe was out knocking on voters’ doors, and I got a call from him. At first there was just a lot of noise and rustling on the phone, but eventually he started talking. He had called me by accident, but he explained between breaths “Can’t talk…. running…. from a…. dog…. but…he only has… three legs… so I’m… faster!”

I can’t begin to count the number of lives Gabe touched, and the impact he had durring his too few years with us. Tucson lost a hero. We’ll miss you, Gabe.

10 Comments

  1. Walt Stephenson wrote:

    Ted,
    As Republican Party Chairman of Legislative District 28 I was shocked and dismayed at such a sensless act. Please except our heartfelt condolences. At last Saturdays LD-28 meeting there were a lot of tears shed for all the victims.
    Walt

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink
  2. What a great guy & dedicated staffer Gabe was:

    http://tucsoncitizen.com/community/2011/01/09/farewell-gabe-zimmerman-congresswoman-giffords-aide/

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  3. Tom-AZ wrote:

    I worked with him briefly as he was my counterpart in Gifford’s Office. He was very nice and very good at his job and fiercely loyal to Gabby. We used to joke how much work it went into initially setting up community events and that it eventually got easier. The thing that sticks in my mind is that he said it was so much easier with someone like Gabby and I joked how harder it sometimes was with TG, unless it was in Phoenix. I’ll miss him, a lot.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  4. tucsonteresa wrote:

    I called the Giffords office a couple of weeks ago about continued medical coverage for military kids. I spoke to Gabe. He said he would get all the fact and call me back. About an hour later, he did. He had good news for me and said if we had any problems to give them a call. I am so sad for his family, his fiance and all his friends, that I won’t be able to do that. I was very impressed with his caring and professionalism.

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  5. Phoebus wrote:

    Is there anyone who know Gabe’s father’s name?

    Monday, January 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
  6. Colleen wrote:

    I graduated with Gabe from the ASU school of social work, and we worked together for years through our professional social work association and on Gabby’s campaigns. Our social work community is absolutely devastated. All the accounts of what a great guy he was is true. If I had to name the 3 most nicest people on earth, his name would surely be at the top of the list. Despite the fact he was 20 years younger than me, I learned a great deal from him about politics and community organizing. I’m heartbroken for his family and fiancee.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 5:13 am | Permalink
  7. Gabe’s father is Ross Zimmerman:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/giffords-arizona-shooting-father-giffords-staffer-gabe-zimmerman/story?id=12580672

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Daniel Scarpinato wrote:

    I also considered Gabe an acquaintance, mostly because we had a lot of very close mutual friends. But I too never got to know him as much as I would have liked. This entire incident really puts so much into perspective. Like when you lose an election, and think it’s the end of the world — but it’s really not. Gabby Giffords is one of the few individuals in the Southern Arizona political community did not judge people based on their political leanings. She is friends with people on both sides of the ailes. Really friends, not just pretend friends. We could all learn a lot from her, especially those of us who sometimes need a reminder that we’re all human beings first — and political beings second.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
  9. Jennifer Johnson wrote:

    Well said, Daniel. RIP, Gabe.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  10. Alohapuna wrote:

    It seems many people feel as I do that I regret not getting to know Gabe better. What a remarkable young man! What a tremendous loss!
    It makes me even more determined to appreciate others and be nicer to everybody.
    You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ….

    Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink