William J. Kimberling Ph.D.
October 16, 1940-November 4, 2023
William Joseph Kimberling, age 83, of Waterloo, Nebraska, left this world on November 4, 2023. He died peacefully and quickly with his family surrounding him. He lived life to the fullest even while fighting cancer, dialysis, and diabetes in the last years of his life.
William “Bill” was born October 16, 1940, in Logansport, Indiana, to Ruth and Delbert Kimberling. Early in his life, his father died in WWII; subsequently Bill was raised by Ruth and Homer Bernhardt once Ruth remarried. He graduated from Logansport High School, where he met his wife of 63 years, Rose Mary McCain. Bill went on to study mathematics and genetics, as an undergraduate, at the University of Indiana. Following that, he studied genetics and earned his PhD in Medical Genetics from Indiana University School of Medicine.
After a distinguished career in population genetics, Bill retired from Boys Town National Research Hospital as Senior Research Scientist where he worked for over 40 years. His research was in genetic disorders affecting sight and hearing. In 2006, he joined the faculty at University of Iowa and continued his research in Usher Syndrome. The creation of the William Kimberling Usher Research Laboratory was dedicated in 2015 to honor his hard work and commitment to families afflicted with the debilitating disease.
Rose Mary and Bill were high school sweethearts. They married in 1960 in Logansport, Indiana, and went on to have 5 children in 7 years: Susan, Marty, Patty, Joe, and Dave. They have 9 grandchildren; Zach, Ashleigh, Chaeli, Taylor, Hayden, Samantha, Ali, CJ, and Sydney, who, so far, have given them 9 great-grandchildren. For the last twenty years, Bill and Rose Mary lived on a lake in Waterloo, Nebraska, where they enjoyed both viewing the wildlife and boating, to the extent that Bill was a member of the auxiliary Coast Guard up until his death.
Bill loved life and filled it with plenty of activities. Throughout his life, Bill loved to read, especially Science Fiction and science related magazines; he almost always had a dog and favored the Jack Russell Terrier. He also enjoyed playing games with colleagues and family. Later in life, he started painting, doing puzzles, and building architecture Lego sets. Being a lifetime learner, he even took some classes at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and Lincoln. In addition, he loved spending time with his family and especially the children.
Bill was predeceased by son, Joe Kimberling. He is survived by wife, Rose Mary; daughters, Susan Kannawin (Chris), Marty Dougherty (John), Patty Kimberling; son, David Kimberling; all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 10 – 11 am at Boys Town Dowd Memorial Chapel, 13943 Dowd Dr. Omaha. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11am. Interment is at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Elkhorn, NE immediately following. The family asks that only family members attend the interment.
In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed by the family towards genetic research.
To view a live broadcast of the service, please go to heafeyheafey.com and click “Live Cast” at the top of the home page.