Andrew George Kimmell

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Andrew George Kimmell was born Oct. 26, 1921 in Glad Valley, S.D. His family was burned out of the Dakotas by the terrible droughts of the early '30s.

He graduated high school in Harrison, Ark., then moved to Urich, Mo., in 1940. He was working at North American Aviation where he met Dolores Hartnett. On Nov. 24, 1943, two weeks after they met, they wed in Olathe, Kan.. From 1943 to 1951 he made improvements for every aircraft structure he was associated with via jigs and fixtures for every company he worked for.

From 1951 to 1954 he was head of research and development for General Motors Aircraft, plastic tooling concepts for F84 Thunder Jet Fighter Plane.

In 1957 George and Dolores moved to a farm in Peculiar, Mo., and started their own business, "Kimmell Engineering." Their customers included many of the Fortune 500 companies. He was a master 3-dimensional master pattern maker and a pioneer in epoxy and fiberglass products. Very few people understand how difficult it is to go from idea to a physical product.

Westinghouse Corporation with its legions of engineers tried for 11 months to manufacture a backpack case for the astronauts in 1962. They gave up and appealed to Mr. Kimmell to provide a solution. He worked 20 hours a day for three weeks and produced a bullet proof backpack case that worked in space, for Alan Shephard.

In 1962 he created an epoxy (instead of concrete) mortared building with an epoxy fiberglass roof.

In 1969 he created and built the Trident Missile Molds, for the Trident Missile System which was this countries first line of defense in the 1970s and 1980s. He also did the foundation work for the water tower coatings that all municipalities in the U.S. use today.

In 1974 Mr. Kimmell retired and moved to Nevada, where he continued to raise registered shorthorn cattle and registered English bulldogs. He became an expert pecan grafter and knowledgeable in pecan production.

Survivors include 11 children; 37 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew Raymond and his wife Katherina Kimmell; and one great-grandson, George Henderson.