Grandpa’s Legacy

“I know he’s not really gone, she said, but the world still feels smaller to me today.”  – StoryPeople

A few weeks ago, my Grandpa Kimmerle cast off his earthly body that could no longer eat, talk, dance, or sing, and I have no doubt that the angels’ music is even sweeter with his heavenly arrival. A faithful follower of our travels and the #1 recipient of my postcards sent home, I can’t bring myself to delete his address. Having reached the homestretch with our final international destination here in Indonesia, I can’t believe there is no Grandpa to write home to.

Grandpa had a passion for travel, music, and eating tasty food. I have many favorite Grandpa memories: asphyxiating in a fit of giggles whenever Grandma reprimanded him for the occasional cuss word; our regular post-church pancake lunch followed by Pinochle; listening to him sing “You Are My Sunshine”, “Oh, Susanna”, and “Edelweiss” as he played the guitar, piano, or accordion…

But it was his faith and passion for humanity that impacts me the most. Grandpa taught me that Love is reaching out to society’s underprivileged. Incredibly progressive for his age, through his gentle spirit I witnessed Love for humanity that extended beyond friends and family, Love unmarred by bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

Through him I witnessed what it looks like to open one’s heart to neighbors both near and far. Grandpa warmly opened his home to his grandchildren’s friends as we used his house as a home base between school activities. Through supporting a Native American reservation, volunteering at a Latino school while snow birding in Texas, sharing his passion for music at nursing homes, and befriending a local man whom others chose to avoid, Grandpa demonstrated Love unconcerned about race, background, social acceptance, abilities, and political or sexual preferences.

Grandpa showed me Love that does not acknowledge, tolerate, or establish boundaries. His life, his legacy, a gift, the greatest of lessons… an inspiration to Love… boldly and generously.


Ali Berry

May 29th, 2012

Really beautiful, Kate. This is a great tribute to him. Thanks for taking the time to write it.


May 31st, 2012

Your life was truly blessed by your grandfather, beautiful, heavenly music is abounding with your grandfather’s memory and presence.

Aunt Betty

June 1st, 2012

Loved to read your comments Kate, Sometimes we are so familiar with someone we don’t truly appreciate them until we see them through other eyes! These past few weeks have been a wonderful chance to see Dad through other people. We were so fortunate to have shared his life.
Looking forward to seeing you and giving you a big hug sometime soon!


June 2nd, 2012

Great entry, Kate. He’ll is definately missed but I’m sure he and Grandma are enjoying singing together again and playing pinochle! Can’t wait to see you soon and share some sangria and stories!

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