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Graham Kimpton

1969 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Graham Kimpton Obituary

Graham Kimpton, 47, died suddenly on Monday, June 13th, after a long and courageous struggle with schizophrenia. Born on January 13, 1969, Graham grew up in San Francisco, where he attended Town School and The Urban School. After graduating from Rollins College, he returned to San Francisco and worked as a digital designer for Smoking Car Productions, where he helped to create the groundbreaking computer game The Last Express.

Graham moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2001 to be near McLean Hospital, where he received treatment for much of his life. A tremendous natural athlete, he excelled at tennis, golf and skiing throughout his life, and was a daily jogger. He believed avidly in the importance of physical exercise for mental stability, and became instrumental in the creation of a gym for patients at McLean Hospital, choosing and arranging the athletic equipment himself. He was always keenly aware of the suffering of others and eager to help where he could. In San Francisco, he worked as a volunteer at Walden House and had been an active board member of the Mental Insight Foundation, whose focus is mental health issues, since 2002. Fellow board members relied heavily on his clearheaded analysis and empathetic decision-making.

Gentle, perceptive, and often hilarious, Graham was adored not only by his family, to whom he was close and devoted, but virtually everyone who knew him. Despite his consuming struggle with mental illness, he managed to create dozens of vast, sweeping and extraordinary artworks using 3D rendering programs and various combinations of wood, Plexiglas and resin. Several of his works are on display in public spaces at McLean Hospital. In 2012, he returned to San Francisco to be closer to his family, and was treated at Langley Porter, UCSF. At the time of his death he was completing a book about his art in which he also wrote frankly about the progression of his illness in hopes that his story might help others similarly afflicted.

His father, San Francisco hotelier Bill Kimpton, predeceased him in 2001. Graham will be missed acutely by his mother and stepfather, Kay and Sandy Walker; his father's widow, Isabelle Kimpton; his sisters, Marcia and Laura Kimpton and Jennifer Egan, stepsisters Jennifer and Lindsey Walker, nieces Drennon Kimpton and Kiley Dell'Amico, and nephews Emmanuel and Raoul Herskovits.

Graham's family has created a fund in his honor to help ensure the continuation and maintenance of the gym he helped to create at McLean Hospital, and to keep patient spaces there welcoming and vibrant. The fund will be administered by the Mental Insight Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation founded by Graham's father, Bill Kimpton, in 1997. Donations in honor and memory of Graham can be made to The Graham Kimpton Memorial Fund, c/o The Mental Insight Foundation, 538 Broadway, Ste. A, Sonoma CA 95476, (707) 938-8248.

Graham's family wishes to thank both Mclean Hospital and Langley Porter at UCSF for their years of care and devotion.

The family will hold a private memorial service later this summer.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from June 19 to July 3, 2016
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