Riverboat captain wins IrishCentral’s free trip to Ireland
Timmer is the oldest of six children. His father was Irish-German, his mother’s side from County Mayo, and his his mother was English-Indian.
Timmer, a Catholic, and his wife Diane are members of St. Anthony’s Parish in Grand Rapids. He is the proud father of three sons and grandfather of three.
Timmer served in the US Navy for 10 years. His first tour of duty was in Holy Loch, Scotland at a Polaris Submarine base.
During this time Timmer’s ship stopped off at Bangor, County Down for some R & R in 1964.
Said Timmer, “I remember it well because I didn't come back to America for the entire time I was stationed in Scotland (1963-1966).
“I told one of my shipmates at the time that Ireland really felt more like home than Scotland.”
Timmer worked on several other ships and also did a tour of duty in Vietnam with the "Brown Water" Navy on the rivers.
“I retired as a Journeyman Millwright in 2006 and I went to school and got my USCG Captains license so that I could start a charter boat service on Lake Michigan.”
Since obtaining his license, Timmer has been working as a Charter Boat Captain on Lake Michigan, operating the only strictly Pleasure Cruise/Scenic Tour boat out of Grand Haven, Michigan.
“The Name of my boat is "Celtic Sol" and we fly the Irish Flag and offer our customers their choice of Irish/Celtic music if they like during our cruises.”
Timmer has worked as the Webmaster for the Michigan Ancient Order of Hibernians for about 10 years and has been a member for 20 years.
“My wife and my first trip to Ireland together was on Aer Lingus in February 2006.”
In February, 2007 the couple took their two younger sons with them for a retirement vacation.
On that trip the Timmers went through Co. Mayo as a way for the boys to reconnect with their Irish Heritage.
“As far as we know, my father's family, the Mayo's first emigrated to Canada and then on to America after that, finally settling in West Michigan.
In May 2009 Timmer and his wife returned again while on the way to Scotland for a for a ships reunion.
“My wife and I have a slight rift over how many times we've been to Ireland because I say that if we stop in Ireland and stay overnight and go out to a pub, then it counts as a separate trip before heading on to Scotland and a ships reunion, and then returning to Ireland.”
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