Lifestyle Obituaries

Obituary: Kurt Zimbler

Kurt Zimbler. Courtesy photo

Kurt Zimbler, 92, most recently of Delray Beach, FL, died peacefully on Feb. 21, 2024.

Kurt, also known as “Buddy,” “Daddi,” and “Dadzi,” lived in Stamford, CT, for 54 years before moving to Florida in 2017. He was born in Vienna, Austria, on Dec. 19, 1931, the only child of the late Blanka and Max Zimbler, and fled the Nazi occupation in March 1939, arriving in New York City, where he lived in every borough other than Staten Island. He attended Bronx High School of Science where he played multiple sports, but after his family moved to New Rochelle, NY, he gave up soccer for football at New Rochelle High School – where he graduated in 1950 and earned a scholarship to Florida State University as a place kicker. His college career was interrupted when was drafted during the Korean War, and he chose to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was assigned personnel duties as a sergeant stationed in Albany, GA. He was honorably discharged in 1960 after several years of active duty followed by service in the reserves, and having received a Navy Commendation Medal for rescuing an injured Marine from a burning vehicle in 1953.

He married Sylvia (Kleiner) on Nov. 10, 1957 (the Marine Corps Birthday, so he would never forget their anniversary date), and they were happily married until her death in 1990.

He is survived by his two daughters, Ronni Zimbler Newton (Ted) and Debbi Zimbler, both of West Hartford, CT; grandchildren Katie Newton Redman (Matt) of West Hartford and Sam Newton of Boston, MA, and a baby great-grandson.

He was lucky enough to find love again, and in 1998 married June Zimbler, who survives him, along with her three sons, Larry Alintoff (Andrea), Scott

Alintoff (Jill), and Bryan Alintoff (Lisa), and his step-grandchildren.

Kurt was a talented musician who could play by ear, and saxophone was his main instrument although he could play many others. The swing band he led, “Buddy Zimbler and His Orchestra,” played summer gigs in the Catskills and at clubs and events throughout Westchester County. He also loved country music, and would never forsake an opportunity to sing his favorite tunes with the Stamford-based band “Gunsmoke” or other groups – including at an event just 10 days before he died.

He never met a booster club or association he didn’t end up leading. He loved politics and was a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives and a member of and chair of the Stamford Republican Town Committee for many years. He performed countless weddings – in English, German, and Spanish – as a Justice of the Peace. He was a longtime member and former commander of the Jewish War Veterans Fred Robbins Post 142 in Stamford, state JWV commander, and member of the Marine Corps League, and grand marshal of Stamford’s Memorial Day Parade in 1993. In 2008 he was recognized as “Honored Veteran” at the Stamford Citizen of the Year ceremony, and was Stamford’s Veteran of the Year in 2010 – with May 17, 2010 was named “Kurt A. Zimbler Day” in Stamford.

He had a lengthy career in human resources and personnel (including at the former EJ Korvette) in Westchester, New York City, and Stamford. To end his working career, he was office manager for Homeguard Environmental in Stamford for about 20 years.

He remained a loyal NY Yankees and Jets fan throughout his life, and loved watching any type of sports competition and for many years was the announcer for Westhill High School football as well as girls and boys basketball games.

Kurt’s heart may have stopped beating, but it was always full of love for his family, his community, and his country, and our hearts will always be full of love for him.

A private burial was held at the VA’s South Florida National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held in Connecticut at a later date. Please consider a donation to a charity of your choice in his honor.

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