a needless death in Iraq
Fairfield County Marine dies in Iraq
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 11:12 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
A grieving Fairfield County family and his hometown community are preparing to bury U.S. Marine LCPL James F. Kimple, killed in action in Iraq last week.
Kimple, 21, was among four Marines killed in an explosion set off by a roadside bomb Friday, said Lewis Taylor of Taylor Funeral Home in Amanda.
The married father of three young children was based out of Camp Pendelton in California and was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He leaves behind his wife, Amber, and their two children, Drake J. and Maleah R. Kimple, all of Amanda, and his child Dominic J. Kimple of Carroll.
Family members did not wish to be interviewed immediately. "Right now they just want to grieve," Taylor said.
Kimple was remembered warmly by those who knew him at Bloom-Carroll High School, which he attended through December of his senior year. He earned his GED afterward.
"He was a very bright young man, very intellectual; he loved to read," said teacher Jan Hodge, who had him for two years in her Occupational Work Experience course, which provides career-minded students with a taste of working life.
Kimple knew exactly what he wanted, she said: a military career.
"He wanted to get out of school to be in the military, and he chose the Marine Corps. I knew he would be successful."
Kimple came to see his former teacher in November, when he was home on leave. He was dressed handsomely in his uniform, and he showed her pictures of his young children. He was so proud of his children.
"He knew he was going back," Hodge said. "He wasn't afraid. The Marine Corps was like a family to him."
Of course, added Hodge, whose nephew is in the Army and did two tours over there, "When you say goodbye, you always wonder."
The news came. "It just takes your breath away. There are no words," the teacher said, choking up.
It is a small community, a small school district.
Bloom-Carroll Superintendent Roger Mace recalled Kimple as one of the brightest students he had met.
"When you saw James in the hall, you always saw him with a novel. He loved to read," the superintendent said. "He always had a smile on his face."
The family provided the funeral directors with more information about Kimple, saying:
"James died doing what he wanted to do since age 16. He did it for his family and his country and will always be our hero. The few, the proud, one of our finest."
Besides his wife and children, Kimple leaves his parents, Cate and John Kimple, and brothers, Jovid and Parker Kimple, all of Carroll.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a trust fund established at Fifth Third Bank for the education of his three children.
Calling hours are scheduled for Friday, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Taylor Funeral Home at 111 W. Main St. in Amanda.
Additional calling hours Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at Bloom-Carroll Middle School's auditorium will precede a 1 p.m. funeral service there. Burial will follow in Greenfield Township Cemetery in Carroll.