Tehaleh Couple Stays Active and Independent in Senior Living

Staying active helps Pat and Tom Zimmerman enjoy life at Wesley at Tehaleh in Bonney Lake.

Pat and Tom Zimmerman know how to move. They exercise together. Pat loves walking. She and Tom are regulars in Wesley at Tehaleh’s Stretch & Tone class.

Staying active helps keep the couple connected. Tom says activity helps them keep up with their grandchildren. Pat and Tom are parents to five children; they have 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren with one more on the way.

Over the years, Pat and Tom have had plenty to keep them busy. For nearly 35 years, they owned a Coast to Coast Hardware. Customers came in with all sorts of requests. For the Zimmermans, understanding how to build things was essential, as was knowing how to tear things down. Physical strength was part of their jobs.

Later, Tom worked for Central Evergreen Savings. He counseled entrepreneurs and small business owners. Pat was a schoolteacher. She loved the fourth grade most.

Active Lifestyle to Keep Up with a Big Family

The Zimmermans still have a lifestyle that requires real energy.

Pat and Tom’s secret to living well isn’t exercise. It’s having a wonderful family that fulfills them. They exercise so they can enjoy life. For the 26 members of the Zimmerman family, fun usually involves physical activity.

When Pat and Tom had young children, jetting off to exotic locales wasn’t an option. Heading to Yakima was, though. They would pack the kids into the car and drive east. Summer vacations meant pool time with plenty of swimming and diving.

When the kids were older, the Zimmermans bought a second home on a golf course in Chandler, Arizona. Over the years, their home became a destination for family fun. Grandchildren visited during spring break. Pat and Tom used the time to deepen their relationships with their grandchildren.

Since they retired in the early 1990’s, Pat and Tom have traveled the globe. They walked the Great Wall of China. They frolicked on beaches in Bermuda and Jamaica. They toured the U.K. with stops in England, Ireland and Scotland. Once, they even went down under to Australia and on to New Zealand.  Then there are the trips to Europe. They visited Pat’s family in Germany and took the Chunnel from Paris to London.

To this day, the Zimmerman family vacations together. Tom says he loves gathering for family meals. Seeing everyone together brings him joy. Pat is particularly pleased that their children remain close. They stay in touch without assistance from their parents.

Still Going Strong

Tom and Pat met in 1954 when they both lived in Houston. The Korean War was happening. Tom was an aviation navigator for the U.S. Air Force. Pat was in her second year of teaching.  They were introduced by Pat’s roommate the day before Thanksgiving. 

About three months after they met, Tom says he knew Pat was the one. They married February 20, 1955. Tom continued serving our country. When he left the Air Force, he and Pat moved to Minnesota where she is from. They arrived in Minnesota just in time for Pat’s father, an obstetrician, to deliver their second child, Chuck. Later, the family moved to Washington State, where they expanded their family. In 1981, Pat was named Mother of the Year by the local community.

The Zimmermans celebrate 68 years of marriage this year. Their family is throwing a party for this momentous occasion.