Family, friends say goodbye to wife of Bengals coach

Published: Oct. 13, 2009 at 4:09 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2009 at 5:11 PM EDT
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Vikki Zimmer
Vikki Zimmer
Several Bengals players and coaches attended services Tuesday for Vikki Zimmer, including head...
Several Bengals players and coaches attended services Tuesday for Vikki Zimmer, including head coach Marvin Lewis

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Visitation and services were held Tuesday for Vikki Zimmer, the wife of Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Vikki passed away unexpectedly Thursday at age 50. Her husband found her unresponsive when we came home from practice Thursday night. The Hamilton County Coroner says she died of natural causes.

The Zimmers were married for 27 years and have three children.

Several Bengals players and coaches attended the services Tuesday, which were held at Holy Cross Immaculata Church.

Vikki Zimmer had a tradition of baking treats for the defensive players on Mondays after a victory. She would also send encouraging notes to the players. The Bengals dedicated Sunday's win against the Ravens to her memory.

"I remember we were in the huddle and a lot of the guys were reminding each other: Remember, let's do this for Zimmer," defensive lineman Domata Peko said. "He's going through a tough time now, and let's do it for him. That helped us push ourselves even more to get this victory."

The Bengals let Mike Zimmer decide whether he wanted to coach the game on Sunday or stay in Cincinnati and spend time with his family. Zimmer told the team that his wife would have wanted him to coach, so he was on the flight to Baltimore, accompanied by his father, his son and one of his daughters.

The players were impressed by how Zimmer carried himself.

"I couldn't really imagine how you can go through something like that and be able to come out and make (play) calls and focus in and forget what's happening in your personal life," cornerback Leon Hall said.

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