Ellen Zimmer Darling

December 4, 1958September 6, 2019

Ellen Zimmer Darling, beloved daughter, wife, mother, and friend, entered into much deserved rest on September 6, 2019, after a courageous and hard-fought battle with cancer. Ellen was born in Kansas City on December 4, 1958, to Hugh and Eulalie Zimmer. She attended Prairie Elementary, Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona, and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Upon returning to Kansas City after college, Ellen entered the commercial real estate business and earned her MBA from Rockhurst University. She was a member of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City’s Kansas City Tomorrow leadership program. In 2015, she succeeded her father as President and CEO of Zimmer Companies, Inc., a group of interrelated real estate firms, including Newmark Grubb Zimmer and various development and investment entities. She was the third generation of the Zimmer family to lead the firm before retiring in 2019.

Ellen was incredibly giving of her time and civically involved with many organizations in Kansas City. She was a member of the board of trustees of Rockhurst University, chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and a member of the advisory board of directors of Commerce Bank. Ellen also served on the board of directors of Starlight Theatre, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), and the Shawnee Mission Medical Center Foundation, as well as the Work-Study Board of Cristo Rey and the East Fund Grant Committee of Shawnee Mission East High School. She served as chairman of the Jewel Ball and was a member of the Native Sons & Daughters of Greater Kansas City and The Westport Garden Club.

Above all else, Ellen was a devoted daughter, wife, and mother; her proudest accomplishment was her family. She married her husband, Bert, in 1987, and they were the parents of Emily and Curran. Ellen took after her father as an avid traveler, enjoying a lifetime of summers on the lake at Wismo, fishing excursions, and many adventures in the mountains and on the rivers. While Ellen’s family is left brokenhearted by their loss, they are comforted in knowing she is finally at peace. They have wonderful memories and remember her strength of character and giving spirit that will always guide them. Ellen was predeceased by her father. She is survived by her devoted mother, Eulalie; caring husband of 31 years, Bert; two adoring children, Emily and Curran; brother, David (Diane); and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family is eternally grateful for Ellen’s many health care providers, as well as countless friends who lifted her up through thought and prayer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to KU Endowment, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Mail Stop 3012, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, to benefit cancer research. Online contributions may be made at Please indicate that donations are for the Ellen Darling memorial.


  • Hugh Zimmer (deceased), Father
  • Eulalie Zimmer, Mother
  • Bert Darling, Husband of 31 Years
  • Emily and Curran, Children
  • David (Diane) Zimmer, Brother
  • Many Cousins, Nieces, and Nephews, ...


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Ellen Zimmer Darling

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sharon Orr

September 11, 2019

Ellen was such a bright and accomplished woman with such a wonderful sense of fun and zest for life. Bert, I am so very sorry for your loss. You were always so supportive and loving. Emily, just now growing into your own. Too soon to lose your mother but as I have gotten to know you, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and she has taught you well. Speaking of falling apples, sweet Eulalie, you must be heartbroken. It is so hard to lose a daughter, so young. Ellen was so much of what you are which she learned from you. To all, I will miss Ellen so very much! She exemplified “a life well lived”

“A life well lived is a precious gift
Of hope and strength and grace,
From someone who has made our world
A brighter, better place
It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad
With smiles and sometimes tears,
With friendships formed and good times shared
And laughter through the years.
A life well lived is a legacy
Of joy and pride and pleasure,
A living, lasting memory
Our grateful hearts will treasure”.
- Author Unknown

My heart and love go out to all of the Darling and Zimmer families,
Sharon Orr

Sarah Crutchfield

September 10, 2019

I’m sending my thought and prayers to you and your family. My heart is sad on this day, learning the passing of a wonderful lady. The stories I have from being neighbors with The Darling Family❤️ I will cherish my memories.
Ellen you will be dearly missed!
Sarah Crutchfield

Steven Perry

September 10, 2019

Bert, Emily and Curran - So very sorry for your loss. Ellen accomplished many great things in her life and is leaving a lasting legacy to you and the city. Sharon and I will keep you and the rest of the Zimmer and Darling families in our prayers as you go through the difficult days ahead.

Steve and Sharon Perry

Jennifer DiCarlo

September 9, 2019

Ellen was my God-given friend for whose life and our deep relationship, I will be forever grateful.

Kenneth Block

September 9, 2019

Bert our family was so saddened to hear of Ellen’s passing. She was a very strong leader of one of the great real estate firms in the city and I know how much she meant to you , your children , your extended family, and the community. Please accept my family’s and our firms heartfelt condolences.

Deanna Jefferson

September 8, 2019

Ellen will be sorely missed. I am glad to have gotten to work with her and see her at a luncheon earlier this year. My sincerest condolences to the Zimmer and Darling families. May she rest in peace with so many others that have lost their battle with cancer.