Shirley Barden Zimmerman

Shirley Barden Zimmerman, of Bayside, NY, passed away on December 17, 2020, after a brave struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 95 years old and took her last breath following a loving Zoom call with all her children.

Shirley, daughter of Hedwig Thomas Barden, was born on August 30, 1925, in Los Angeles. She attended USC, from which she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in journalism in 1947. Shirley met her future husband, Daniel Lynn Zimmerman, while they worked on the college newspaper. After graduating, they moved to New York, where Shirley attended Columbia University, obtaining an MS in journalism in 1949. Shirley and Lynn were married at the Church of the Transfiguration (“The Little Church Around the Corner”) in 1948 and remained a devoted couple for 50 years. Lynn passed away in 1998.

Shirley’s first job was at Cosmopolitan magazine. Within six years, she and Lynn were parents to four children. While the children were young, Shirley earned her teaching credential, taught elementary school, and worked part-time at Newsweek and then, in 1961, at Time magazine. Once the children were old enough, she began working full-time at Time and was promoted to deputy copy chief—a job she enjoyed tremendously, with colleagues she admired greatly. Still employed well into her 80s, Shirley led an active life—taking ballet classes, playing tennis, attending theater, traveling around the globe, and serving as an ombudsman volunteer. Most important to Shirley was the written word. She loved reading nonfiction books, the New Yorker, and the New York Times (cover to cover), all with a marker in hand on the hunt for typos. She tackled and tamed the most difficult crossword puzzles. 

She is survived by her son John of Bayonne, NJ; son Thomas and fiancée Suzanne Yee of CA; daughter Carrie of New York, NY; daughter Barbara and fiancé Jeff Boyer of Cornwall, PA; beloved grandchildren Kerry, Katelyn, Kevin, Matthew, Valentina, Hallie, and Alexi; and brother Fred Barden and wife Helen of Portland, OR. 

The family would like to thank Stacy Williams, CNA, and the wonderful staff at Moravian Manor in Lititz, PA, for their care and compassion over the past four years.

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