RWB Zimmerman was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1952 and was appointed to the advancing line in 2015 by Most Worshipful Brother Charles Brent Stewart. He received a BS in Accounting degree from Missouri Western State College (now Missouri Western State University) in 1974 and later received a master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. During those college years Zimmerman was both a television news reporter and commercial communications engineer. Upon graduation he joined a local firm of Certified Public Accountants in St. Joseph later being admitted as partner. In 1987 he moved his practice to St. Louis joining a firm in Webster Groves which later merged with one of the largest local firms in St. Louis. For more than 40 years he has spent a substantial amount of time working with tax exempt organizations. Along the way he taught senior year accounting classes at Missouri Western and has conducted training seminars and written numerous articles for his profession.
The weekend after Thanksgiving 1984 he married the love of his life, Georgia. She is a retired nurse devoting most of her time tending to the needs of the family cats Gertrude and Elmer. Both share a love of symphonic music, theatre, travel, and ocean cruising. Given Bill’s love of cooking; Georgia is content to clean up whatever mess is left behind. Pasta, soup, and grilled beast are special favorites. Bill is still a licensed ham radio operator and occasionally can be heard playing mediocre renditions of show tunes on the piano.
His Masonic roots include a grandfather and uncle in the fraternity. Unfortunately they both had laid down their working tools before Bill joined. His inspiration to petition was his best friend from junior high school RWB Roger Heard. Brother Heard was the first line petition signer and conferred all three degrees as well as acting as instructor and examiner in the proficiency process. Initiated at Saxton Lodge 508 in St. Joseph on August 1, 1979, he was passed then raised on September 5, 1979 and November 7, 1979 respectfully. He served a term as Master of Saxton Lodge before moving to St. Louis. Transferring membership to Crestwood-Anchor Lodge 443 in St. Louis, he has served a term as Master, several terms as Secretary, and currently holds office as Lodge Treasurer and treasurer of the Lodge Temple Corporation. An avid ritualist, RWB Zimmerman has renewed his Subdivision III ritual card several times, is a member of the Charlie’s Angels degree team, and Lodge funeral team. He’s proud of the love of ritual shown by the Brothers of his Lodge evidenced by the Lodge winning a district wide ritual competition seven years in a row. In two of those years the Lodge made no mistakes in the competition which is based on the Subdivision III exam.
Zimmerman has served the Grand Lodge in several capacities. In 2004 he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for Division C of the twenty-seventhh Masonic District by Most Worshipful Brother Dr. Elmer E. Revelle. He served a four year term as an elected director of the Masonic Home of Missouri and one year as Grand Orator for the 2013-2014 year under Most Worshipful Brother Jon B. Broyles. He has been a frequent Chance to Advance Class Moderator and trainer. In 2014 he was one of the authors of the Missouri Freemasons Mentoring Program book issued by Most Worshipful Brother David W. Haywood. Presently RWB Zimmerman is Secretary – Treasurer of the Missouri Lodge of Research and Missouri Lodge of Research Foundation. He belongs to both the Truman Club of the Masonic Home and Denslow Society of the Lodge of Research Foundation. At the time of his appointment to the advancing line he was serving on the Ways & Means Committee of the Grand Lodge. Favorite spare time activities include collecting and studying ancient By-Laws of the Missouri Craft dating back to the formation of our Grand Lodge in the 1800’s and participating in deep discussions on varied Masonic topics with the St. Louis Cornerstone Guild.
In his oration at Grand Lodge in 2014 Zimmerman recalled the speech of Grand Master Dr. J. Edward Blinn who presided at the first annual communication Zimmerman ever attended. He stated that the words spoken about the role of Grand Lodge some 35 years earlier were just as important today in that “…the task at the Grand Lodge level is to find ways of strengthening all the lodges by offering guidance and support…”, that “Leadership is the key to survival of any Lodge,” and that “The state of the Craft can become as good as we, collectively, wish to make it.”
Before leaving St. Joseph, he received his thirty-second degree at the St. Joseph Valley Scottish Rite. He also received York Rite degrees at Mitchell Chapter 14, St. Joseph Council 9, and Hugh De Paynes Commandery 4. Now in St. Louis he belongs to the St. Louis Valley, Oriental-Rabboni Chapter 78, Jeremiah Council 48, and Ascalon Commandery 16.
His other Masonic affiliations include memberships in the Order of Eastern Star Alexander Chapter (St. Charles, MO), Bruce Harmon Hunt York Rite College, and the Royal Order of Scotland.
Outside of Masonry he has served his profession at both the state and national level. He is a past recipient of the Missouri Western State University Distinguished Alumni Award.