May 11 ceremony in Harrisburg to precede honors in Washington, D.C.
A Pennsylvania Game Commission state game warden who died in the line-of-duty will be added to the agency’s Fallen Officers Memorial at the Harrisburg headquarters and to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
District Game Protector Robert E. Zimmerman, 35, of Shiremanstown, Cumberland County, was killed May 13, 1957 in a vehicular accident on Route 11 near Danville. His death was uncovered by staff in an old Pennsylvania Game News magazine.
Zimmerman will be added to the Game Commission’s Fallen Officers Memorial at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony on May 11 at the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters. His name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on May 13 during National Police Week.
Zimmerman is the 10th Game Commission officer to be added to these memorials.
Zimmerman was trained at the original Ross Leffler School of Conservation, near Brockway, in the wilds of Jefferson County. He was heading to his first field-duty station in Wayne County to begin work as a game protector at the time he was killed. Zimmerman served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He ran a Shiremanstown service station before joining the Game Commission.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said he is pleased Zimmerman will finally get the recognition he deserves for his commitment to wildlife conservation.
“Game Protector Zimmerman served to protect Pennsylvania’s wildlife,” Burhans said. “Like the family of this fine man, the Game Commission is proud of his service and accomplishments, and grateful for the ultimate sacrifice he made in the advancement of wildlife conservation. It is fitting his memory will be recognized forevermore at the agency’s Harrisburg Headquarters and in Washington, D.C., at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.”
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. contains the names of more than 19,000 men and women who were killed in the line of duty. Nine of those officers served with the Pennsylvania Game Commission at the time of their deaths. They are:
Charles Beecham, fatally shot in Lackawanna County in 1906
L. Seeley Houk, fatally shot in Lawrence County in 1906
Joseph McHugh, fatally shot in Carbon County in 1915
Joseph H. Kalbfus, died in Warren County train-vehicle crash in 1919
Elias W. “Woody” Kelly, died in Warren County train-vehicle crash in 1919
Walter M. Middleton, died in a Snyder County automobile crash in 1935
John B. Ross, drowned during McKean County rescue attempt in 1942
Woodrow E. Portzline, suffered heart attack during 1973 investigation
David L. Grove, fatally shot in Adams County in 2010