Morrie H. Zimring, 85; businessman supported variety of nonprofit groups

Morrie H. Zimring, 85, and his late wife, Miki, were active supporters of a variety of causes and nonprofits, including Jewish Federation of St. Louis and Miriam Foundation.

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Morrie H. Zimring, longtime businessman in the vending machine and related businesses, was remembered by his family members, friends and Jewish leaders for his selfless and generous spirit throughout his life.  Mr. Zimring, 85, died Friday, July 8, 2016 after a long illness. He was a longtime resident of Clayton. 

Morris Harold Zimring was born on December 31, 1930 at the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.  He was the son of Frank and Sadie Krantz Zimring of Granite City, where he grew up. He graduated from Granite City High School. He moved to Creve Coeur in 1961, and in recent years resided in Clayton.

Mr. Zimring attended Washington University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

He  met and married Shirley “Miki” Schwartz.  They were married for 64 years and were not only life partners, but worked as a “team” in all of their various philanthropic endeavors. Miki Zimring died in September 2014.

According to a St. Louis Business Journal article in 1997, Mr. Zimring and his father ran Zimring and Sons Tobacco and Candy Co., selling vending machines, juke boxes and similar devices.

Mr. Zimring went on to start several businesses, including Preventive Electronics, Allied Laundry Equipment Co. and Allied Cable, before becoming exclusively involved in the real estate industry.

Mr. Zimring and his wife were active in and supportive of numerous causes and organizations in both the Jewish and general communities, including the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. The Zimrings were co-chairs of the 1987 Jewish Federation Special  Gifts Division and of the Federation’s annual meeting of 1986.

In addition to their support of the Federation, the Zimrings were major benefactors to the Jewish Community Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and MERS/Goodwill, and served on the boards of these and other organizations. 

They were also supporters of the St. Louis Zoo, Miriam Foundation and The Scholar Shop.

A 2012 story in the Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch News site noted one of the Zimrings’ donations to the Miriam School: 100 iPads outfitting all of the school’s 96 students, as well as teachers, with the device. The story noted the couple was “inspired to donate the iPads after reading national news coverage about the benefits of iPads in special education settings.” 

Miriam Foundation honored the Zimrings during a special event in 2014. 

“Some people commit time, some commit money, I try to do both,” Mr. Zimring told the Jewish Light at the time of the 1986 JFed Annual Meeting.

Mr. Zimring was praised for his generosity and thoughtfulness at the funeral service Monday at the Berger Memorial Chapel, where Rabbi Elazar Grunberger, former  director of Aish Hatorah of St. Louis and currently Director of Aish’s Executive Learning Center in Jerusalem, offered the eulogy. Grunberger flew in for the service due to his longtime friendship with Mr. Zimring, the family noted.

Karen Aroesty, regional director of the ADL, remembered Mr. Zimring for his strong support of the ADL for many years. “More recently, I got to know him at his coffee group at the City Coffee and Creperie in Clayton.”

Jeffrey Korn, a longtime friend of the Zimrings, along with his wife Elaine, expressed appreciation for his service on  the Jewish Film Festival Committee and for his volunteer work and donations to the St. Louis Zoo.  “He was a kind, generous and sweet man,” Jeffrey Korn told the Jewish Light.

Andrew Rehfeld, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, also paid tribute to Mr. Zimring’s support of the Federation and other community causes.  “He will be deeply missed,” Rehfeld said.

Survivors include three children, Randy (Zimring Muriel), Fran (Slutsky Dennis) and Lori (Sale Scott, M.D.); six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Burial was private.