Bill Wimmer, age 62, of Lincoln, Nebraska passed away Friday September 17th in Lincoln. A Memorial Celebration of Life Service is scheduled for October 1 at 10 a.m. at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 S. 14th St. in Lincoln.
The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to Capitol Humane Society, Lincoln, Nebraska in Bill’s honor, to your special charity, or to the family for future designation.
Bill was born Sept. 26, 1958, to George H. and Ilse Wimmer of West Point, Neb. He graduated from West Point Public School in 1976. Bill attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied history, and then pursued his life-long passion for music. He was a professional jazz musician all of his life. Bill loved his sons, cooking, music, gardening and animals.
In each of the five senses, there is an art. Bill Wimmer cultivated all five senses to a high degree. First and foremost was his music, especially the making and sharing of music with friends. He was largely self-taught, but his ears were finely tuned. He was a good listener and a quick study, eager to learn new tunes and devoted to practicing his saxophones and developing his craft. He released two CDs with his group Project Omaha and would join jam sessions with other musicians at any time in any place. He was an adventurous improviser and a non-conformist in many aspects of his life.
Bill’s cooking skills were legendary, often involving hours of preparation and always in quantities large enough to share with others. He served elaborate four-course meals to visitors, delivered food to friends who were unable to visit, and brought hot meals to band mates for nourishment before or after gigs. He sought out specialized ingredients, from chives to chicken feet, from various and sundry sources, to create extraordinary culinary sensations with his kitchen wizardry.
He also had an appreciation for the wonders of nature, in all its sights, scents and flavors. He cultivated an extensive backyard flower and herb garden which he was eager to show visitors. It attracted an array of exotic butterflies and, most recently, a Sphinx moth. Bill loved creatures of all sorts, but especially his own live-in companions, Beni the dog and Rico the cat. He shared more photos of them than of himself.
His appreciation for the arts led to collecting and displaying works by local and regional artists. For many years, he was a contributor to the Berman Music Foundation newsletter and website, reviewing concerts and writing appreciations for unsung heroes. He also shared music by some of his favorites on “Jazz Journey,” a program he hosted for several years on KZUM Community Radio.
His penchant for wordplay and the absurd was evident in his love of “Far Side” cartoons, which he frequently posted on Facebook. By the way, his spicy political commentary resulted in several suspensions from that social medium, from which he always returned amused and undaunted.
Last, but certainly not least, was his devotion to sons Nick and Sonny. As Nick writes, “Death finally got revenge on the man who cheated it time and time again. My dad was my best friend, my biggest fan and the most important person in my life. He taught me how to treat people and how to find humor in any situation, but never how to cook because he was too damn good at it for me to keep up.”
Perhaps Bill himself wrote the best epitaph. In a post of August 31 st he wrote “Don’t give up. Sometimes hope is all we have to keep us going. I’ve come back from the dead because I never give up. Twice… Don’t give up on each other and looking for the light and humanity that is still out there.”
Bill is survived by his two sons, Nick Wimmer, age 26 of Omaha, Sonny (Alexander) Wimmer age 24 of Lincoln, and brother George Wimmer (Ann Beckenhauer) of West Point, two nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his brother John, sister Ginny, and parents George H. and Ilse Wimmer.
The family has requested that remembrances