Guy A. Zimmerman, M.D.

July 10, 1946 - April 6, 2024
Guy A. Zimmerman, M.D.

Guy Alexander Zimmerman died at home on April 6, 2024. He left us unexpectedly in the early hours of the day, the night sky he knew and loved guiding him “straight on ‘til morning.”   

Guy was born on July 10, 1946 in Atlanta, Georgia to Winnie Helen and Edgar Alexander Zimmerman. He graduated from Woodside High School in Palo Alto and attended Emory University in Atlanta. While a student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he met Mary Bonner, who was a student at the University of Houston. He proposed to Mary on Mount Lemon in Tucson, Arizona and the couple were married in August of 1972.

Shortly after marrying, Guy and Mary spent time in Tuba City, where he worked with the Indian Health Service. It was an experience that sparked their love of Native American culture and art. In 1973, they moved to Salt Lake City, where Guy completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. A few years later his daughter, Anne, was born. The young family briefly moved to Seattle where Guy completed a Residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Washington. They loved taking ferry rides and exploring the mountains, forests, and seas of the Pacific Northwest. Guy accepted a faculty position with the Department of Internal Medicine and they returned to Salt Lake City in 1980. When Anne was five years old, her bright, blue-eyed brother Patrick burst onto the scene. 

Guy was brilliant and successful by any measure, but there is no question that what he cherished most was his family. He had a deep respect and adoration for his wife, Mary, and was deeply committed to the happiness and success of Anne and Patrick and their families.

He was a passionate outdoorsman who hiked, camped, skied, and ran rivers. He loved Alta: winter weekends on the slopes, summer weekends hiking and searching for Indian Paintbrush. He faithfully started his day on the Shoreline Trail, running and watching the sun rise — usually with a beloved black lab by his side. But of all his pursuits, Guy was most taken with fly fishing and devoted hours every day to tying flies and studying the weather. He loved the poetry of the river: the Provo, the Green, Henry’s Fork, and the waters of Yellowstone. He would want you to know that he fished the Provo and skied at Alta with Mary in the days immediately before his passing.

If Guy Zimmerman was your friend, you knew it. He was an engaged conversationalist and deliberate listener who cared about the things that made the people he loved happy. He clipped and sent newspaper articles regularly and was a prolific postcard writer, collecting and sending beautiful cards to a long list of people every week. Guy will be missed in many ways, but his absence will be particularly felt at the mailbox.  

He woke up at “dark thirty” to brew extremely strong coffee, which fueled his ambitious, prolific, and celebrated academic work. He was a Professor of Medicine and Associate Chair in the Department of Medicine in the University of Utah School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center, where his research focused on the fundamental mechanisms of inflammatory and thrombotic diseases. Guy was a compassionate clinician and those experiences strengthened and elevated his biomedical research. He was a gentle but effective leader and mentor and visiting professor in many schools of medicine and research institutions in the U.S. and abroad. His awards and publications are too long to list. 

At heart, Guy was a deeply spiritual and introspective man. He loved the Book of Ecclesiastes and found solace in the natural world. He loved the rhythm of the seasons, reading the night sky, the rush of a river, and being in the mountains and the deserts. He loved watching hawks soaring overhead and identifying birds. 


“All the rivers run into the sea; Yet the sea is not full;

Unto the place from whence the rivers come,

Thither they return again.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1:7


He is survived by his wife, Mary Bonner Zimmerman; daughter, Anne Zimmerman (Sean Finney); son Dr. Patrick Zimmerman, (Meghan Stillson); grandchildren Vera, Leon, and Guy Finney; sister, Kathy Zimmerman Wimbish (Dave), brother Jim Zimmerman, numerous nieces and nephews and a legion of devoted friends and colleagues. 

A celebration of life will be held Saturday July 13, 2024 from 9:30-11:30AM at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Marcia and John Price Museum Building At the University of Utah G.W. Anderson Family Great Hall
Campus parking is free on weekends, excepted in reserved stalls where indicated. More information about parking is available here

 In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations be made to The Guy A. Zimmerman, MD, Faculty Mentoring Award at University of Utah or to the Henry’s Fork Foundation.

The Guy A. Zimmerman, MD, Faculty Mentoring Award at University of Utah Health: UGive
Henry's Fork Foundation: Donate to HFF | Henry's Fork Foundation