Sam O. Kimberlin
February 4, 1928 – November 10, 2020
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.
Sam O. Kimberlin
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November 19, 2020
David, Kim, Will, Claire & Katherine,
We are holding each of you in our hearts as you process this loss. To lose Sam because of COVID-19 is tragic and devastating.
Please know that we enjoyed getting to know Sam and Alison over the years during your many trips to Texas. May your memories of the good times give you strength and peace.
Love, Amy, Eric, Page and Lauren
November 17, 2020
I work with his son, Dr. David Kimberlin. If David is any reflection of who his father was, I am sadden that I did not have the pleasure of meeting him. We are covering the Kimberlin family in prayer. Praying that you find peace and comfort in the loving arms of GOD. We know to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD. Mr. Sam Kimberlin is now resting from his many years of labor.
Praying For You, David
Your UAB CU Family
November 15, 2020
My father thought the world of Sam . Many great memories of bank meetings in wonderful places with even better people. Sam led the TBA with grace , and class , and professionalism.
He will surely be missed.
November 15, 2020
My friend Sam was an extraordinarily gifted person who contributed much to the State of Texas.. His leadership in the Banking field probably did more in creating a favorable atmosphere for economic growth in Texas than any other entity, , private or governmental ...Sam was a Ex Marine and he also served the people in many other capacities.. He did not suffer fools and let his opinions be known.. He is going to be missed....
Janice & Chris Williston Williston
November 13, 2020
Chris and I are so sad to hear of Sam’s passing. Sam gave Chris his “start” in the association business and was such a great mentor and friend. Prayers to Alison and the family. We love you! Sam will be missed by many.