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Alice Mae Kimmel (nee Simcox) was born on Christmas day, 1924. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, an only child cherished by her loving mother, father and maternal grandmothers. Earliest memories of childhood were indelibly ingrained by surviving the Great Depression-recalling her parents sharing one hard-boiled egg for lunch, pulling a wagon filled with foraged scrap iron to sell at the junkyard, waiting in line to receive hot bean soup and a cinnamon roll from the church kitchen, and asking the butcher for bones to give to a favorite starving stray dog. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in International Studies from the Ohio State University, and went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Alice embraced a remarkable variety of careers including employment by the Department of Energy, the Department of the Army Office headquartered at the Pentagon, and in later years, as an adjunct professor of Anthropology and Sociology at community colleges. In her retirement, she wrote in professional journals and published a book of memoirs entitled 'Twas the Depression. Written entirely in narrative verse, it is an extraordinary achievement of personal as well as historical significance. Alice was very close and devoted to her only daughter, Carol Ann Edwards. Sharing a taste for adventure, they spent a lifetime of summers traveling together in the US and to Britain, Italy, Greece and Egypt. An oft-mentioned highlight was the night she was asked for the first dance by the dashing captain of a Nile cruise. A vibrant, worldly, independent woman, Alice loved to talk politics, attend theatrical performances, and read the Wall Street Journal cover to cover. A self-admitted Anglophile, Alice collected and read all things British. Her favorite author was Emily Bronte, and she would spend hours tucked in a comfy chair, steaming coffee in a delicate Wedgewood cup at her side, contentedly reading and making notes. Her granddaughters recall happy childhood memories of going with Alice to Williamsburg at Christmastime, and visiting museums in Washington D.C. Renowned in the family for her exceptional pumpkin and mincemeat pies, no one has ever been able to duplicate her coveted recipe. Alice is survived by her daughter, Carol (John) Edwards of Wilmette; granddaughter, Claire (Sam) Armstrong, and great-grandsons, Oliver and Maxwell of Arlington Heights; granddaughter, Jessica (John Smitherman) Edwards, and great-grandson, Asher of Collingswood, NJ. Services will be private. Cards and remembrances may be sent to Carol Edwards.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Dec. 15, 2013
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