Garner Russell "Russ" Kimball III

Garner Russell Russ Kimball III, 50, of Beaumont, died Thursday, November 15, 2012, at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. He was born on January 13, 1962, to Gayle Johnston Kimball and Garner Russell Kimball II, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Russ was raised in Houston, Texas, he was the oldest of eight siblings. He fell head over heals in love at the first sight of his wife Leigh while they were studying at the University of Texas at Austin. After marrying Leigh in 1989, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Houston, and continued his studies working on a Masters Degree in Molecular Biology. After college, he worked for several years in genetic research at Baylor College of Medicine. When Leigh finished her optometric studies in 1993, the couple moved to Austin where Russ worked for Ambion, a biotechnology company, developing products and techniques to make DNA testing more widely available. It was during this time that their first child, Max, was born. In 1996, Leigh accepted an offer to join Dr. Brian Blount in his optometry practice in Beaumont. Russ's initial comment to Leigh was I married you for better or worse, but nobody said anything about Beaumont Texas. However, after actually coming to town, meeting the people, and seeing the community, he admitted he could think of no better place to raise his family. After settling in Beaumont, Russ switched gears from genetic research to petrochemical sales and support by accepting a job with Nalco/Exxon. He enjoyed using his problem solving and interpersonal skills to help optimize polyethylene plant operations. Most recently, he has become involved in Nalco's global industry development. This career move allowed him to travel the world with his talents, and experience a great variety of one of his fondest pastimes...gourmet cuisine. Although he never did it professionally, Russ was a consummate chef. He could prepare a gourmet meal on a moment's notice out of practically nothing. In his last years he enjoyed sampling foods around the world that would make the fainthearted squeamish to hear about, but he loved it. Anyone who was lucky enough to have been seated for a meal he prepared will likely never forget it. In Beaumont, the Kimball family grew by two. David was born in 1998, and his father could not have been prouder of the man he has become. Russ would spend hours secretly listening as his young son practiced playing his guitar, and he expressed frequently how he had never heard more beautiful music. Daddy's little princess, Sophie, sprang to life in 2005, and there has never been a more loved child. Russ was completely overwhelmed by the strength of his love for his little girl, and advised Leigh that she was going to have to tell her No, because he wasn't going to be able to. Family circumstances led Russ and Leigh to invite their niece Kristen Barnett to join their family in 2010, and he loved her as if she were his own child. Helping her overcome some rough times and successfully graduate high school and begin college was one of his proudest accomplishments. Russ's other passion was historical preservation. He purchased his dream home project in 2000, and began restoration of Beaumont's historic Weiss-Keith mansion. He would accept no makeshift solutions to the many obstacles encountered along the way, determined to make the home an updated version of the magnificent structure it was when it was built in 1911. Russell Kimball had all the qualities every man should have. He had integrity, infinite compassion, confidence in himself and others, perseverance when faced with adversities, bravery, and humility. Every move he made came straight from his heart. His wit and wisdom is what will be the most remembered, and so horribly missed, by all who were lucky enough to be his friend. He is survived by his wife, Leigh Kimball; son, David Briggs Kimball; daughter, Sophia Hope Kimball; niece Kristen Barnett, mom and dad, Gayle and Robert Briggs, of Houston; brothers, Jim Kimball II and his wife, Renee, of Panama; John Kimball and his wife, Sue, of Austin; Beaux Briggs and his wife, Mary Katherine, of Austin; Connor Briggs of Dallas; step-mother, Marilyn Kimball of New Braunfels; sisters, Gayle Kimball of Canada; Barbie Koy and her husband, Robert, of Houston; April San Miguel and her husband, Roland, of Dallas. He is preceded in death by his beloved son, Maximilian Allen Kimball; and father, Garner Russell Kimball II. Mr. Kimball's memorial service will be 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 18, 2012, at Jefferson Theatre, 345 Fannin, Beaumont, with a gathering of family and friends to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Pediatric Cancer Research, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, Texas 77210-4486; or Beaumont Main Street Restoration Project, 505 Orleans, Suite 104, Beaumont, Texas 77701. Complete and updated information may be found

Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Nov. 17, 2012