American Veteran 09

Richard "Rick" Kimpell

January 29, 1958 ~ January 22, 2024 (age 65) 65 Years Old

Richard "Rick" Kimpell Obituary

Richard “Rick” Kimpell, age 65, passed from this world on January 22, 2024, after a brave battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Rick was born on January 29, 1958, in Fort Dodge, Iowa to Lawrence and Marjorie (Klaus) Kimpell.  He was the second oldest of eight children. He enjoyed a free-range childhood, swimming in the Des Moines River, hunting, fishing, and trapping. Blessed with a logical mind, Rick loved science fiction, heavy metal music, fast cars, and all things mechanical.  You always knew where he stood on any subject, and he was not the kind of guy you’d want on a speaker phone. He attended Saint Edmond High School in Fort Dodge, IA.  At age 16, straight out of Juvenile Detention, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.  After Basic Training at Fort Polk, LA, he served in the 172nd Infantry Brigade, stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska.  He participated in annual “Jack Frost “field exercises in sub-zero conditions for months at time and earned the Expert Infantry Badge.  Rick achieved the rank of Specialist 4th Class.After discharge from the Army, Rick enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and attended basic training in San Diego, CA.  He met his future wife, Laurie Gallagher, while they both were attending training as Avionics Technicians in Millington, Tennessee.  They were married on March 20, 1981, at Lute’s Gretna Green Wedding Chapel in Yuma, AZ.  In 1982, Rick sailed on the Maiden Voyage of the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) for its initial deployment to the Western Pacific.  He was a proud veteran of the Gulf War. He had a knack for motivating sub-standard performers and his gift for solving complex logistical problems earned him two Navy Achievement Medals. During their dual military careers, Rick and Laurie were stationed at MCAS El Toro, CA, MCAS Yuma, AZ, NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, FL, MCAS Beaufort, SC.  They remained married for 43 years. After his military career, his job as a Field Service Technician with American Superconductor took Rick to job sites in France, Italy, New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  In 2010, Rick graduated Maga Cum Laude from South University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Rick was a fan of Formula One racing and lived out a dream when he attended the Grand Prix in Monaco.  He loved college football and was a diehard supporter of his beloved Clemson Tigers. Rick was preceded in death by his parents, brother James, niece Rhea McCray and nephew Jason Everhard. He is survived by sisters, Rochelle “Shelley” (Doug) Johansen of Fort Dodge, IA, Lori (Toni) Corriea of Austin, MN, Jacqueline Manggaard of Austin, MN, Diane (Wayne) Elie, of Independence, IA,  Marti Donaire of Bloomington, MN and his younger brother David (Paula) of Spring Hill, TN. Graveside services with military honors will be conducted at the Camp Navajo Veterans Cemetery in Bellmont, AZ on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 11:30 am. A special thank you to our friends and neighbors who loved and supported us during Rick’s illness, especially the Starns family who stepped in to finish the dream shop Rick started just before his diagnosis. The nurses in the chemo room at the Show Low Cancer Center and the nurses and staff of Accord Hospice for their excellent care.

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