Toni Leon Zimmer, a woman of unwavering faith, was welcomed into heaven on March 3, 2022, surrounded by the love of her family. Toni was born August 15, 1954, in Hallock, MN to Darlene Swanson (Turner). Her brother Dirk and sister Heather came along a few years later. Toni’s mom, Darlene, met a rodeo cowboy who said, “I do” and he did! He loved them all as his very own, and gave them their youngest, fiercely spirited, white-blonde haired brother, Timber Turner. Her family was like a layered cake, each layer put there by God’s perfect plan, held together by love, and frosted with forgiveness and fortitude.
Her family moved to Libby, MT. She met the love of her life, David Zimmer, and started dating in the summer of 1969. They graduated from Libby High School in 1972 and were married July 16th of that year. They will be celebrating 50 years married from heaven this July. David and Toni were inseparable in spirit, bound tightly with love, continually modeling a relationship built on the foundation of “and two shall become one.” They were often referred to as “A Racehorse and a Buffalo,” the animals that mirrored their spirits. Their calling in life was offering love, support and skills for building marriages. “In sickness and in health” was a vow they exemplified. David was in awe of her strength and beauty, while Toni marveled at his ability to accomplish and conquer. Their legacy of love will live on for generations to come.
David and Toni raised three children together: Tanner, Teal and Tristin. Toni cherished the time she spent raising her children. She was able to stay home with her kids until they graduated from high school. Together they took their kids to church every Sunday, raising their kids alongside some of their closest friends. Their summers were spent at Libby Creek, laying in the sun and cooling off in the cold mountain water. The sun, she believed, came straight from heaven and she was still sunbathing in a two piece this last summer. Fall was always hunting time, and Toni would feed the hunters and open her home for coffee and “Toni treats” to relive the days’ events. In January of 1998, they moved to Butte, MT. Butte welcomed them with warm hearts, big blue skies, better elk hunting and more lunch spots.
Toni gave to this world in every way she could- daily prayers for anyone in her heart, a warm hug, a kind word, her time, her energy, her forgiveness, her grace, and a card in the mail for every event. She spent time working at Christopher and Banks, helping people find clothes that fit them just right. Toni worked as an Activities Director for the Waterford/Big Sky Senior Living and found immense joy serving her residents. She provided an environment filled with activities and treats, giving them purpose and meaning each day. Toni was honored to meet each and every resident. On days off, she slipped into sandals and thoroughly enjoyed going to lunch. Montana Club was her favorite place! She treasured her friends and held them close to heart.
Toni would often marvel at the blessings God had given her. She was beyond proud of her kids and grandkids. Her grandkids: Mason, Billy, Mallory, Max and Liberty were one of the biggest delights in her life. She attended every football, baseball, hockey game and swimming practice she could, and looked forward to every May when it was dance recital time. Each grandkid was uniquely special to her, and she found such joy in knowing who they were as individuals, providing beautiful insights on how each one was just as wonderful as the next. She was always up for fun in the sun with the kids! Toni would take all 5 grandkids to Washoe Pool or Fairmont every summer. She loved having them all over for the weekend. No one could make eggs and pancakes quite like Grama Toni. The evenings were filled with fresh air-popped popcorn and real butter. Her rice bags warmed their little bodies, and she would wait on them hand and foot.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Darlene (Swanson) Turner and father Thaddeus Turner.
Toni is survived by her husband, David, son Tanner (Erin), daughter Teal (Nate), daughter Tristin (Mario) and grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Abundant Life Fellowship Church, 630 West Iron Street, on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. There will be one hour of visitation prior to the service at the church. A reception will be held at the Butte Country Club from 1p.m.- 4p.m.
In memory of Toni donation can be made to “New Hope Pregnancy Clinic” or “Butte Rescue Mission”