As far as hardships go, Mary Zimmerman has faced some of life’s worst.
Between losing a total of six children and caring for her husband of 65 years following a stroke that left that previously independent man in need of help, it was easy for her to feel battered down.
But God had different plans, Zimmerman said, and she didn’t want to let Him down with the life she was given.
“I don’t want to meet God empty-handed,” Zimmerman said.
To fulfill this, the longtime Winonan has donated her time and resources by raising money for tsunami victims through the sale of her homemade pies, writing books about grief and God after the death of her 16-year-old son in 1976, and most recently by purchasing and donating images of the Devine Mercy devotion for local organizations and residents.
Zimmerman’s claim to local fame came from a motivation to help tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. She decided to raise money through selling her pies. She began baking — and baking and baking and baking.
Soon, she made her 1,000th pie and donated the thousands of dollars she made from the sales to the tsunami relief.
But her talents are not limited to the kitchen. Zimmerman said she enjoys writing and said she often finds herself consumed by the Holy Spirit in her writings, inspiring her to keep writing more.
The first two books she wrote primarily focused on her grief over the death of her 16-year-old son, and she received requests for the book from others who were also handling a loss. Her following two books and a third writing, focus on finding faith and keeping it.
Zimmerman has also had her writings about her faith published in local and larger publications.
In her columns and writings, she explained how she hopes others can find some semblance of faith, just as it helped her cope with her depression and grief.
That is also where the Devine Mercy…