Skip to content

Shirley (Mason) Martin-Zimmerman

Shirley Marie (Mason) Martin-Zimmerman transitioned to heaven with angels at her side on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at Harmony at West Shore in Mechanicsburg, PA. Shirley was born on November 30, 1927 in Berlin, Somerset County, PA to the late Joseph E. and Elmira (Baker) Mason.

Shirley is survived by son, William Martin, Jr. (Betty) and grandson, Justin Martin of Rockhill Furnace, PA. Also surviving are brother Donald Mason of Berlin, PA; two sisters-in-law, Mary Mohr of New Jersey and Charlotte Mason of Florida; and two stepsons Paul Zimmerman (Denise) of Mechanicsburg, PA and Gary (Bonnie) Zimmerman of Branson, MO.

She married William H. Martin on December 18, 1954 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Berlin, PA. Mr. Martin passed away on July 22, 1992. On December 1, 2006, she married Rev. Kenneth W. Zimmerman at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lemoyne, PA. Rev. Zimmerman passed away on April 22, 2007. Also predeceasing her are brother William Mason; stepdaughter Virginia (Martin) Uden and step-grandchildren Richard and Reagan Uden.

Shirley was a graduate of Berlin Brothersvalley High School, Berlin, PA (1945) and of Lutheran Deaconess School in Baltimore, MD (1948). She served as Director of Christian Education at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Burholme, PA; Lutheran Settlement Church, Germantown, PA; Christ Lutheran Church, Oreland, PA; and St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Camp Hill, PA. In addition to her devoted service to the Lutheran church, Shirley, along with husband William Martin, were employed by the Milton Hershey School and acted as surrogate parents to 57 small boys over an eight-year period. Those boys (now in their 50s and 60s) remain to this day an integral part of Shirley’s family.

Shirley’s contribution to the beloved communities she lived and worked in is perhaps best summed up by a Huntingdon County columnist who wrote: “[Shirley’s] mind is a constant source of new ideas. Only Shirley doesn’t stop there; she marches on and fights the battle until her ideas become reality. And she not only made some of her own dreams come true, she’s helped to make the dreams of other people come true, too…Shirley, you’ve touched the lives of so many through your countless endeavors. Your rewards are few, but still you labor endlessly toward your goal of making your community a better place to live.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lemoyne Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 509 Hummel Ave., Lemoyne, PA 17043 or St. Luke’s Lutheran, P.O. Box 96, Mount Union, PA 17066.

©2021 Milton Hershey School, all rights reserved.