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Money left to Mathews

Graduates’ family gives back to beloved community

VIENNA — While they spent much of their adult lives living in other parts of the world, two Vienna High School graduates never forgot where they grew up.

Recently, relatives of the late Donald and Mary Ellen Clower Zimmer made a $5,000 donation to the Mathews Local School District on behalf of the couple, whose fondness for the Vienna community motivated them to give back.

“Uncle Don and Aunt Mary, though never living in the Mathews School community after graduation, felt strongly about their roots and how it helped to shape the course of their lives. From the 1940s to current graduating classes, family members still represent the Clower-Zimmer legacy, and through these students, the district remained close to their hearts. The family was honored to present this donation on their behalf to the students of Mathews High School,” said the couple’s niece, Robin Clower Timko.

Don graduated from Vienna High School in 1945. Mary graduated from the school a year later. In 1948, the couple married. Don went on to join the military before enrolling at the University of Arizona, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for Shell Oil Company and later Santa Fe International Drilling Company.

As managing director with Santa Fe, the Zimmers moved to the Middle East where they spent more than 10 years. The couple also spent time in Venezuela, Norway and northern Africa. During their time overseas, the couple hosted world dignitaries and company executives. Upon their return to the United States, the Zimmers relocated to Irvine, Calif., then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Don opened his own drilling education company. Mary served as the company’s manager and bookkeeper. Eventually, the couple retired to Pinetop, Ariz., where they lived until the time of their death.

The Mathews Local School District accepted the donation at its November board meeting. The district will work with the family to determine how the money will be used to benefit students.

“The Mathews Local School District is grateful for the generous donation from the Zimmer Trust, and we are proud of the legacy and accomplishments of these wonderful people. Mr. and Mrs. Zimmer did great things through their lives, and we are honored that they remembered the Mathews Local School District. We are committed to applying the donation in a way in which Mr. and Mrs. Zimmer would be happy with and will be working with the family to accomplish this goal,” said Superintendent Russell McQuaide.

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