Sam O. Kimberlin
1928 - 2020
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KIMBERLIN, Sam O. A lifelong resident of Austin, Samuel Owen Kimberlin was born on February 4, 1928, a Saturday night, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He died in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, following a short illness due to COVID. He will live on in the lives of his wife of 64 years, Alison Gray Kimberlin, of Austin, and their sons, Scott and David, David's wife, Kim, and their children, Will, Claire, and Katherine Kimberlin, all of whom he cherished and dearly loved. Scott resides in Austin, and David and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Robert Gray, Robert's wife, Joyce, and their daughters, Susan and Lauren. His mother, Ruth Crowell Kimberlin, his father, Sam Kimberlin, Sr., and his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mary and Hob Gray, predeceased him. Sam moved to Austin in 1935 and entered Pease Elementary School in the first grade, continuing in the Austin public schools through University Junior High and Austin High Schools, graduating in May 1945. Shortly thereafter he joined the Marine Corps and served for two years at the end of World War II. He attended The University of Texas (in Austin), receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1951 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1953. While in The University, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and Phi Alpha Delta honorary legal fraternity. In 1972 he graduated with highest honors from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. These deep Austin roots served as the foundation for the many personal and professional relationships that Sam had throughout his life. He had many gifts, perhaps the greatest of which was his easy connection with other people, often through quick wit and humor. He genuinely liked people, and over a rich and full life drew energy from these many warm and lifelong friendships. Sam served Texas and its citizens in several capacities, including Counsel for the Texas Department of Banking from 1956 to 1962; Assistant Attorney General of Texas from 1954 to 1955; and First Assistant District Attorney of Travis County, Texas, from 1953 to 1954. Many years later he served as deputy foreman and later as foreman of Grand Juries for the 390th Travis County District Court. In 1962, Sam became executive director of the newly organized Association of State Chartered Banks in Texas. Then in 1964, at the age of 36, he was elected chief executive officer of the Texas Bankers Association, which had a membership of all but six of the 1,200 state-chartered and national banks located throughout the State. He moved the headquarters of the Texas Bankers Association from Dallas, where it had been located since 1914, to Austin in 1964. During his years as the managing officer of the Texas Bankers Association, Sam was a member of the government relations council and the board of directors of the American Bankers Association, and he served as Chairman of the State Association Division of the ABA. He authored The Competitive Structure Within Which The Commercial Banking System Operates In Texas. In addition, he wrote the History of Banking in Texas as well as numerous articles on banking in the Texas Bankers Record and Texas Banking, publications of the Texas Bankers Association. After his retirement from the Texas Bankers Association in 1990, Sam became consultant to and chairman of the development board for Austin Trust Company and a member of the board of directors and consultant to Thornhill Securities, Inc., Austin. He also served six years on the Appraisal Review Board of the Travis Central Appraisal District, where he was chairman in 1996, and after completing his term of office he co-authored Fight Your Texas Tax Appraisal and Win. At various times he was on the board of directors of the Austin History Center Association, a member of the board and president of the Austin High School Continuing Education Foundation, an active member of UT SAGE, where he was the Dean's appointee to The Third Age Council, a part of the Division of Continuing & Extended Education at The University of Texas. He was a life member of The University of Texas Ex-students Association. He was one of the early members of the Headliner's Club, and was also a past member of the Austin Club, the Austin Country Club, and the Admirals Club. He was one of the organizers of Tarry House, where he enjoyed playing pitch and tennis with close friends as often as possible. Across all of these activities, the source of Sam's energy came directly from his love for Alison. He cherished their time together, traveling with friends and family on many trips overseas and across the United States. In later years, these included numerous trips to Alabama to be with their beloved grandchildren. Throughout his childhood and most of his adult life, Sam was a member of the First United Methodist Church, and over the years he served the church by singing in the choir, by serving on the Board of Stewards and on the Board of Trustees of the FUMC Endowment Fund, and by reconciling the FUMC bank accounts monthly. Always seeking continued growth, he immersed himself in his late 80s in the Education for Ministry four year course at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. This culminated in his joining the Episcopal Church in 2019, at the age of 91. While he will be missed dearly, he is with his Lord and is surrounded once again by those whose lives touched his during his many years on Earth. We would like to think the wonderful and dedicated staff in the Skilled Nursing Unit at Westminster, including Jacque, Yolanda, Patricia, and Lori, as well as Kathy Cody, Mindy Coakley, and the other exceptional nurse practitioners. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Stephen F. Austin Continuing Education Foundation, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, or a charity of your choice. Because of the ongoing pandemic, a private family interment will be held in the coming weeks. Remembrances may be shared at www.wcfish.com.


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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Nov. 15, 2020.
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