El Paso

El Pasoans to pay tribute to Fritz 'Simon' Zimmerle

El Pasoans to pay tribute to Fritz...

For decades, Fritz "Simon" Zimmerle was known as the ultimate concert hype man. Zimmerle was known to run up and down concert aisles with exuberance and passion for rock while hyping up the crowd.

Saturday night, rock music filled the patio at Five Points Bistro as family and friends attended  to pay tribute to Zimmerle, who died from cancer in November.

"He was an outgoing person," Patricia Ortega said. "He would just do anything for anybody."

Ortega, Zimmerle's sister, told ABC-7 her brother, a former marine, was loved by many in the rock community.

"Rock was his life," Ortega said.

Friends of Zimmerle told ABC-7 they knew him as the rocker that was at just about every rock concert since the late 70's.

"When Simon was going to the concerts in the 70s and the 80s, his mission was to be so outrageous he made the video," Joe Jochum said.

Jochum said he still remembers the first time he crossed paths with Simon, after a band member handed him a guitar pick.

"Simon was standing on a chair behind me and he took the pick," Jochum said. "He took the pick right from my hands." Jochum said.

Despite the debacle, they became life long friends.

A local film crew was taping for a documentary on Zimmerle's local-rock legacy.

Zimmerle was also known for having collected a lot of rock memorabilia.

"He been collecting shirts forever," Ortega told ABC-7.

Ortega sold over 200 of Zimmerle's  shirts at the tribute.

"We're taking donations to send the money to St. Jude," Ortega said.

Ortega told ABC-7, Simon died of cancer and wanted the money to benefit children's cancer research.

"He was just the best person in the whole world. We are all going to miss him," Ortega said.

Ortega told ABC-7 she raised more than $800 on Saturday night.

Graveside services with military honors for Zimmerle will be held on Monday, Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

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