SALINAS, CA – Jeri Winters Kimmel, 69, went Home to be with the Lord on March 18, 2014. Her husband, daughter, and granddaughter were at her side.|
Jeri was born February 8, 1945 to Lyle and Christina Winters in Bakersfield, CA. She spent her early childhood in King City and in Salinas – her father raised her as a tomboy and they spent a lot of time camping, fishing, and shooting. She later moved to Saratoga, graduating from Saratoga High School in 1957, and then attended San Jose State College. Jeri began working in a local camera shop and soon fell in love with photography, a passion and artistic talent that she enjoyed throughout her life. She met her husband, Gary Kimmel, in Silicon Valley, and they were married in 1975 in beautiful Yosemite Valley.
In addition to being a dedicated wife and loving mother, Jeri started a Peruvian Paso horse ranch in Saratoga – many of the horses she bred and raised became national champions. She was National President of the Peruvian Paso Horse Association. She also raised Airedale Terriers and enjoyed training and showing them. In 1989 she and Gary moved their home and ranch business to Salinas.
Jeri was active at Cypress Church where she had been a member for 36 years. She was a strong Christian who never hesitated to share her faith, and she had a passion for studying and teaching God's Word. Jeri helped to develop the Women's Ministries Program at Cypress, and was the President of that ministry for ten years. She also became an accomplished quilter, taught many others the craft, and loved to give away her beautiful works of art.
Jeri was a world traveler and photographer, and made several missionary trips to Europe and Asia. Her many photographs capture beautifully the people they met and the countries they visited. Later, she and Gary developed a love of RVing and traveled through the West with their dogs.
Everything Jeri did, she did with a passion – even tackling cancer. When she was diagnosed three years ago, she amazed everyone with her upbeat attitude and courage, all based on her strong Christian faith. Jeri felt that God had given her a new ministry to encourage others facing severe challenges. She may have lost the battle to cancer, but she is clearly the ultimate winner.
Jeri is survived by her husband, Gary; her daughter, Barbara Desira of Gig Harbor, WA; stepdaughters, Karen Kimmel and Kathy Palmer; stepson, Scott Kimmel; and seven grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Cypress Community Church on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 3:00 PM.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Mar. 28, 2014