Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Johnny Joseph Zermatten, age 76

Johnny Joseph Zermatten, beloved husband and father, departed from this life on March 27, 2024.

Born on December 19, 1947 in Richmond, California, He graduated from North Little Rock High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Science from Thomas Edison State University. He was a locomotive engineer for Union Pacific Railroad for 37 years. He also served in the Army National Guard for 23 years, many of those years as a helicopter instructor pilot and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer.

Johnny met the love of his life, Renee, while they both attended Southwestern Assemblies of God College. They married on March 23, 1968 and made their home in North Little Rock, AR.

Johnny began attending First Assembly of God NLR as a child and grew to love serving the church, was a committed orchestra member, member of the construction team and served on the Board of Directors for many faithful years.

He is survived by his wife Renee Zermatten, his children Cherie Black and Kristy Dorsey, grandchildren Regan Black, Griffin Black, Lauren Black, Ashley Black, Emma Black, Weston Dorsey and Garrett Dorsey, his siblings Martin Zermatten, Jeannie Zermatten and Katherine Whitener, and many other family members and friends who will miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Sylvester and Louise Zermatten, and his brother, James (Jim) Zermatten.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 6th at First Assembly of God NLR, AR.  Visitation at 10am and memorial service at 11am.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Charles and Sue Hollin Posted April 1, 2024 8:32 PM

    Renee and girls, Martin and Brenda, We are so sorry for your loss and know that heaven sounds sweeter to you today! Praying for you and your family during this double loss!

  • Curtis & Hope Terry Posted April 1, 2024 10:00 PM

    Because of this family [and kids ] and their mother no telling how my life would have been they showed me a way and I took it . Glad I went to see him 3 weeks ago . I smile a little when I think Jim wanted to take Johnny with him . Prayers for the family .

  • Jeff Lashbrook Posted April 2, 2024 6:58 AM

    It was my pleasure to meet Johnie Z when I first came to Arkansas in 1975. We flew in the Guard together. He was a good pilot and a fine man. I am lucky to have known him.

  • Patricia Knott Posted April 2, 2024 7:59 AM

    I did not know him in a personal way but I was able to watch him in action and those around him who did know him personally for many years. The words that come to mind when I think of Johnny are—gentle, quiet, steadfast, wise. He lead by example. I know I learned a lot by just watching.
    I am praying for Johnny’s family for comfort in the days ahead and that God will bring to mind many wonderful memories that will bring a smile to your face. Love, Pat Knott.

  • William Marks Posted April 2, 2024 4:00 PM

    I am so sorry to read about Johnny’s passing and I want to express my sincere condolences to his family. I knew Johnny way back when we both attended Clendenin Elementary School at 13th & Main Street, Jeff Davis Jr High and North Little Rock High School graduating In the Class of 65. The last time I saw Johnny was to play tennis with him around 1973 on the courts that were located behind NLRHS which is now the NLRHS Football field. I am sorry that it was the last time that I saw and spent any time with Johnny. I always considered him a good friend.

  • ronnie gimblet Posted April 2, 2024 4:53 PM

    johnny z. was one of the greatest guys that i knew at camp. i cannot say anything but good things about him. he was also a great pilot and i never was worried about anything when he was piloting my aircraft. the oldtime huey pilots list gets shorter every day.

  • Ken Hendrix Posted April 3, 2024 9:16 AM

    I had the privilege of knowing and flying with Johnny for most of our careers in the Guard, starting as young WO1s in 1972 until J. J. retired. Johnny was not only a great pilot, but he was also one of the best men I have ever known. I know he will be missed by all.

  • Paul Miller Posted April 3, 2024 11:39 AM

    Very sorry for your loss, and keeping you in my thoughts.

  • Glenn Smith Posted April 5, 2024 5:32 PM

    Renee and family, Johnny was one of my best friends and I will cherish the great times we shared! He was a special guy who liked to play anything that included a ball and we had great times doing that, especially table tennis! Prayers for you all and sorry I won’t be able to attend his service!

  • Tiffany Zermatten Rocha Posted April 6, 2024 7:53 AM

    Sending each member of the family love as the life of Johnny is celebrated today. Thinking of him and Dad together in heaven brings a smile to my face.

  • Don and Glenda Ayers Posted April 6, 2024 8:29 AM

    All of you are in our thoughts and prayers.

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