Conway man dies shortly after finishing half-marathon

CONWAY, Ark. (October 24, 2017) -- A Conway man and father of three died shortly after crossing the finish line of the Soaring Wings Half-Marathon on Saturday, October 21.

Steven Zimmer, 36, collapsed just after completing the 13.1 mile race. Despite immediate medical intervention by the onsite doctors and EMS crew, attempts to resuscitate him were not successful. His cause of death is assumed to be a brain aneurysm, pending autopsy reports.

Andrew Watson, Executive Director of Soaring Wings Ranch states, “We are deeply saddened by the news of Steven’s death, and on behalf of our Race Directors and every participant, we offer our deepest sympathies and ongoing support during this time. Please keep the family and friends of this family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Steven leaves behind his wife Cori Ainsley Zimmer, and his three children, Jacob, Max, and Bella.

A Steven Zimmer Family Fund has been established at both Centennial and First Security banks of Conway. Each bank has contributed $1,000 toward the accounts.

Almost 1,400 runners registered for and took part in the 10th Annual Half-Marathon and 10K. Participants who would like to support the family are encouraged to wear their race shirts to the funeral, held at New Life Church in Conway on October 27 at 2 pm.

A formal statement from the Zimmer family reads as follows:

Steven Zimmer of Conway left his earthly home at age 36 on Saturday, October 21, 2017. An unequivocal family man, Steven poured his heart into his loved ones, particularly his beloved wife, Cori Ainsley Zimmer, and his three children, Jacob, Max, and Bella.

Family and friends describe Steven’s love as “unwavering” in each life he touched. Fiercely protective of his family, Steven was dedicated to his wife and children, loving nothing more than spending time with them. He ensured his children were raised to have positive self-esteem and a good outlook on life. His oldest son Jacob referred to him as “Superman,” as he was their absolute hero.

Steven was a Christian family man who loved the Lord. He served his church and the community with a quiet steadfastness. A true disciple for Christ, Steven had a personal, loving relationship with God. Not wanting to draw attention to himself, he made it his goal to touch other people’s lives and make a difference. “Without seeking attention, praise, or acknowledgement, he became an example of being obedient and representing the Lord,” describes his mother.

This quiet, Christ-like service was done from the heart and led Steven to volunteer for the children’s ministry at his church. He also volunteered in the community through mentoring and coaching. Steven desired to make a difference in each life he encountered. He was generous of heart and sprit.

Steven was also a friend to many. His friends knew they could count on him to lend a hand or an ear when needed. Many looked up to him as a family man and were inspired by his drive and determination to be the best person possible. A notorious hard worker, Steven once said of his father, “He taught me at a young age by example that hard work is just something you do and, through that work, you and the people around you have a better life because of it.”

Everyone Steven knew will remember his fun-loving personality. He loved laughter and could often be found manning his grill, cleaning his pool, or feeding his chickens while wearing his ever-present boots and tank top. Those worn boots serve as a perfect representation of the impact of Steven’s life and the miles of work and time that he dedicated to his family and others.

He was non-judgmental, loving everyone the same. Many words have already been used to explain how Steven impacted others and loved his family, but we leave you with a few more: Protective, disciplined, selfless, motivated, funny, ambitious, studious, generous, proactive, mentor…. Steven meant so much to so many. His family will carry his memory in their hearts and minds and always.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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