KIMSEY JAMES VERLIN KIMSEY (Age 76) Of McLean, VA passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 after a battle with cancer. James was born in Washington, DC on September 15, 1939. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and studied at Georgetown University on an honors scholarship. He served three combat tours as an airborne ranger, two in Vietnam, earning various awards for service and valor. In July 2005, Mr. Kimsey was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame, which recognizes our nation''s most extraordinary Rangers. In 2008, Mr. Kimsey received the Distinguished Graduate Award for Outstanding Service to the Nation from the US Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Kimsey is best known for creating the largest company ever started in the Washington, DC area - America Online, Inc. Mr. Kimsey left AOL to focus his energies on philanthropy, and in 1996, he launched the Kimsey Foundation which provides grants that benefit the Washington, DC community in areas from arts to education. Over the years, Mr. Kimsey has received numerous entrepreneurship awards. He received Presidential appointments to the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees and the West Point Board of Visitors. In 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell named Mr. Kimsey as Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), an organization dedicated to identifying hundreds of thousands of the missing from conflicts and natural disasters around the world, through DNA research. Mr. Kimsey also served as Chairman Emeritus of Refugees International, an independent advocacy group which works to protect refugees and end the cause of displacement. He was a member of the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He also served on the Executive Committee of the National Symphony Orchestra. Survivors include three sons, Michael Kimsey (Marcela) of Prague, Mark Kimsey (Sarah) of Great Falls, VA and Raymond Kimsey (Petra) of Washington, DC; a sister Eleanor O''Sullivan (Bill) of Rockville, MD; a brother Thomas Kimsey of Charlottesville, VA; six grandchildren, Emmy, Sophie, Maya, Jackson, Benjamin and Etta Grace. His former wife, Brownen Krummeck Kimsey of McLean, VA, also survives Mr. Kimsey. In addition to his family, a devoted staff survives Mr. Kimsey. Nancy Shuba Merritt, his long-time personal assistant, Elsa and Ilmi Balla, managers of his estate, Kissinguer Mom, his personal driver, Brie Hytovitz, his office manager, and Mark Chase, his financial manager. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, 1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036. The burial will take place at a private ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the "James V. Kimsey Education Initiative," a fund supporting the Kennedy Center''s work through arts education in metropolitan DC. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566.
Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 4, 2016.