Obituary: Alfred Marvin Zimmerman, MD

Obituary: Alfred Marvin Zimmerman, MD

Col. (Ret.) Alfred Marvin Zimmerman, MD (Marvin), of Sandy Springs, Ga., passed away after a long illness on April 13, 2023.

Col. (Ret.) Alfred Marvin Zimmerman, MD (Marvin), of Sandy Springs, Ga., passed away after a long illness on April 13, 2023. Marvin was immensely loved by everyone who knew him and will be deeply missed.

‘Marvin was born Dec. 12, 1933, in New Orleans, La., to Dr. Hyman Zimmerman and Bess Zimmerman (nee Katz), from whom he inherited his “gentle genes.” He attended elementary school in Amarillo, Texas, while his father served in the Army Air Corps, and high school in Atlanta, Ga., where his family moved after World War II.

Marvin studied pre-medicine at Emory University in Atlanta for two years before entering the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta at just 20 years old. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and then entered the U.S. Air Force to fulfill his military commitment, where he was stationed first at RAF Alconbury and then at RAF Molesworth, both in the United Kingdom. While at RAF Molesworth, Marvin helped to develop and was later placed in charge of a new 25-bed medical-surgical hospital which included an OB ward, which was unusual for its time. Following his military service, Marvin received a fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Emory, after which he spent the next 14 years in private practice in Atlanta, Ga.

Marvin re-entered the Air Force in 1997 and was stationed at Langley AFB in Hampton, Va. While at Langley, he served as chief of internal medicine and chief of medical service. He was next stationed at Myrtle Beach AFB, where he served as chief of hospital services. In 1989, he moved to Luke AFB, near Glendale, Ariz. At Luke, Marvin served in numerous capacities, including chief of internal medicine, assistant chief of hospital services, director of emergency services, chief of medical services and advisor to the medical flight.

When Marvin reached the Air Force’s mandatory retirement age of 62, so many of his patients wrote letters pleading for an exception to the rule. An exception was granted, and he served an additional three years. Marvin could never understand the praise and gratitude he received from his patients since he was just “doing his job.” He was mild-mannered unless he was advocating for patients whom he believed were not getting competent care – and then he became “ferocious.”

Marvin was the cherished husband of Shirley Zimmerman; loving father of Jay (Nyla) Zimmerman; caring brother to his devoted sisters, Joanne Damsky and Sydney Ziff, and uncle to their magnificent children and grandchildren who filled his life with love and devotion. He was the proud grandfather of Brandon; great-grandfather of Nikki, Evan, Wyatt, and Casem; much loved stepfather of Dr. Lee (Kelly) Shratter, Donna (William) Schmidt, and Amy (Chad Woodrick) Shratter; adored step-grandfather to Rebecca and Louis Schmidt, Samantha Shratter and Drey Phillips; and fond brother-in-law to Carole Reich.

Burial was private. Donations may be made in Alfred Marvin Zimmerman’s memory to the National Kidney Foundation, Compassion & Choices, or Emory University’s Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

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