John Burke Zimpel, 66, died February 16 in Little Rock of complications from COVID-19. John was born on January 26, 1955 in Clarksville, the son of Virginia and John Zimpel. He was predeceased by his wife, Debbie Zimpel of Little Rock, and his parents.
John is survived by his daughter Jennifer Pillow (Ian) of Centerton; son Greg Zimpel of Little Rock; sisters Mary Smith (Danny) of Houston; Jeanie Baltz (Albert) of Fayetteville; Margie Trembley (Glenn), of Omaha, NE; and Judy Zimpel of Little Rock; nephews and nieces Marc Smith (Cherain), Nicole Seaton (Anthony), Kevin Baltz, Keith Baltz (Maricel), Kyle Baltz (Amanda), Dayna Hilton (Robert) and Alan Trembley (Mary Beth), nine great-nephews, three great-nieces, and one great-great-niece.
John retired in 2010 after 31 years with the state of Arkansas. He was a key leader in the Arkansas Assessment Coordination Division, holding a variety of critical roles. He represented the agency in many programs, including school funding and statutory and constitutional amendment development. John was the division’s representative in presenting to legislative committees. He participated in the writing of about 90 percent of all property assessment/taxation legislation during the last 25 years of his career.
From 2009-2011, John was a member of the leadership board of directors for the International Association of Assessing Officers, a role in which he advocated for maintaining strong education and ethical standards for the organization’s members.
After retirement, John was an active volunteer for AARP, representing the organization in governmental affairs. He had recently accepted the role of lead advocate for Hub 2 in central Arkansas, educating legislators and others about AARP’s positions on health care, housing and feeding of the elderly.
John was a 1973 graduate of Subiaco Academy. He attended St. Louis University and the University of Arkansas, leaving Fayetteville a few hours short of his bachelor’s degree in public administration to take a job with the state.
John had suffered health setbacks, and in considering his uncertain future, he penned some thoughts to be shared, concluding with “I am lucky to have had so many loving people around me,” which includes multitudes of friends and colleagues and, of course, his family. Contracting COVID-19 shortened John’s life more than he or anyone could have imagined.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, June 19, 2021 at St. Theresa's Catholic Church starting at 9:00 AM. John will be interred with his wife Debbie at Subiaco Abbey following the Mass at 2:30 PM in Subiaco. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations be made to Subiaco Abbey through its website – https://countrymonks.org/memorial-gifts – or by mailing a check to Subiaco Abbey, 405 N. Subiaco Avenue, Subiaco, AR 72865.
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