Thomas Ernest Zinneman passed away at Fawcett Memorial Hospital on August 29, 2020. He is survived by his sister Annette Bixler, daughter Nancy Z. Read (John) and son David E. Zinneman. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl R. Zinneman and Evelyn M. Reynolds, and his wife of 57 years, Ann G. Zinneman who passed away in June of this year.
Tom was born on November 6, 1940 in Hanover, Pennsylvania to Earl Zinneman and Evelyn Reynolds. He moved to Illinois to pursue his education in 1962, where he met Ann G. Webber who would become his wife. Ann and Tom married on August 24, 1963 in Joliet, Illinois. They later moved to Maryland where Tom completed his Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1969. Upon graduation Tom accepted a position with Indiana University where he helped build the cyclotron particle accelerator at the university. During his years in Bloomington, Tom enjoyed fishing and belonged to the local Bassmasters fishing club.
Tom and Ann had two children, Nancy and David. In 1975 the family moved to Joliet, Illinois when Tom took a job at Argonne National Laboratory. Tom enjoyed playing sports with his children, as well as playing basketball and softball on work or church teams. He was also a bowler and an active stamp collector. In the late 1970’s Tom worked on a U.S. – Russian joint program at Argonne that took him on several trips to Russia, and he also learned some Russian language for his trips. Due to the background checks required for his Department of Energy security clearance, his family and neighbors used to think he worked for the CIA! Of course, anyone who knew Tom knew that he could not keep a straight face well enough to be a spy!
In 1998 Tom and Ann retired to Punta Gorda, Florida, where Tom took up fishing again. In addition to fishing, Tom became interested in bird watching and digital photography. He became a well known photographer in the Port Charlotte area and was active with the local camera club and taught classes in digital photography at the local cultural center. He maintained a web site (zinnysworld.com) with photographs of Florida wildlife as well as birds and wildlife from several trips he took to places such as Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands. In 2015 he published a book with a collection of his photographs of Florida wildlife. He was a member of the Photographic Society of America and several of his photos won awards. He was a member of the Peace River Audubon Society and supported numerous other wildlife and nature organizations. Throughout his lifetime he was also an avid reader and was a supporter of the local libraries wherever he lived.
Tom spent many years caring for his wife, Ann, who suffered from kidney failure and was on dialysis from 2013 until her death in 2020. During this time Tom became interested in playing bridge and became an avid bridge player.
Tom will be cremated and his remains interred at Restlawn Memorial Gardens in Port Charlotte, Florida. Services will be scheduled at a later date. His memorial page is with Baldwin Brothers Cremation in Port Charlotte. His Facebook page and website will remain in tribute as well. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the Audubon Society or to your local library.