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.