Zimmermann was later promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps by an act of congress on April 12, 1910 that established the band as a regular Navy unit of forty members with a leader, who was authorized the same pay as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, as well as an assistant leader. "Zimmy" as he was affectionately known by the Midshipmen, continued to serve as Naval Academy Band director until he became ill and died suddenly on Sunday morning, January 16, 1916, of a brain hemorrhage. Second Lieutenant Zimmermann was given a full military funeral, with midshipmen serving as pall bearers, and classes were suspended so that the entire regiment might attend when he was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery on January 19, 1916. Subsequently, Zimmermann's body was exhumed and transferred to the Naval Academy cemetery where a handsome granite monument, as a gift from the classes of 1916 and 1917, was erected in his honor. The inscription at the base of the cross states, "Erected by His Midshipmen Friends."


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