History of Zimmer Westview

Zimmer Westview Funeral & Cremation Care Center





Jacob Gerend Sr.       

Jacob Gerend Sr., one of Sheboygan's pioneer residents, founded Zimmer Funeral Home of Sheboygan in 1878. In those early days, Mr. Gerend had to build his own coffins, which was the custom at that time. His son Jacob Jr. entered the company business in 1886 eventually being devoted to furniture and undertaking. Raymond Gerend began management of the Gerend Funeral Home in 1935, selling the business to John Habermann in 1965. John Habermann owned and operated the Gerend-Habermann Funeral home for thirty-one years. In 1988, John began construction on Sheboygan's only Funeral Home designed and built in the last half of the twentieth century. 





Walter Ahrens       

Walter was born in Sheboygan on July 8, 1896. He graduated from the Marquette School of Funeral Service in Milwaukee, obtaining his Funeral Directors License in 1918. He apprenticed in Sheboygan at the former Kroos Funeral Home where he worked for 11 years, eventually becoming the manager.  








Walter Ahrens driving the Kroos Funeral Home Furniture Truck Circa 1921        

Walter opened a furniture store, grocery store and funeral home in Sheboygan Falls with his brother, where he operated for 16 years, and did the same in Howards Grove, eventually moving the Funeral operation into what was at that time, a state of the art Funeral facility (see the news clip below on the right) in September 1929. Walter remained an active Funeral Director over 60 years, passing away in 1979.





John Habermann        

John began his carrier in funeral service as a director with the Hafemeister Funeral Home of Watertown. In 1965, he purchased the former Gerend Funeral Home in Sheboygan. John provided caring service to the community for over thirty years as owner of the Gerend Habermann Funeral Home until he sold the firm to Mark Zimmer in April of 1996. John retired in August of 1997. 





Gerend Habermann Funeral Home from 1942 until 1988




Mark Zimmer        

Mark Zimmer moved to the Sheboygan area in 1983. At that time John Habermann was providing professional services at the former Ahrens Funeral Home in Howards Grove, a rural village north of the city. Mr. Zimmer and Mr. Habermann became associated at that time, working together at the two funeral homes. John Habermann sold his interest in the Habermann Funeral Home to Mark in 1996. John retired in 1997, and passed away in 2001. In 2010, the downtown Sheboygan funeral home was consolidated into the Westview Funeral & Cremation Care Center.  Mark  and his staff continue the traditions started by the Jacob Gerend Family in 1878, providing residents with the highest standards of service only an independently owned funeral home can provide.