In Memory

Bill Kimes

Bill Kimes

KIMES, W.R. "Bill" Bill Kimes - Educator, Family Man, Renaissance Man, Raconteur W.R. "Bill" Kimes, 79, of East Point never met a stranger. A retired educator (Cass High School, College Park High School, Tri-Cities High School, Frank McClarin High School), Bill was always interested in other people's stories - and was a genuine Southern raconteur, as quite often the story he skillfully extracted from someone he just met became his latest yarn. Surrounded by family, Bill died peacefully on the morning of May 24, 2015 at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, after suffering a stroke. He is survived by: wife Martha Kimes of East Point; son Chris Kimes and daughter-in-law Amy Kimes, Kingwood, Texas; son Kent Kimes and daughter-in-law Kimberly Raley-Kimes, Burgess, S.C.; nine grandchildren; one great-grandson; Sister-in-law Dorothy Shaw of Snellville; niece Allison Berg and husband Bill Berg and family, Decatur; niece Karen Shaw Moore, Lawrenceville; nephew Keith Shaw and wife Peggy Shaw, Manassas, Va.; two great nieces and two great-nephews. Online condolence may be expressed to the family at The consummate family man, Bill was a social animal, hosting dinner parties, spending time with neighbors, dining out and discovering new restaurants, attending events, going to the movies, mingling and trying to satiate his curiosity about the ever-evolving world around him. He was also a music-lover, playing piano by ear, and he loved to travel. He was a fixture at Lunch on Main Street in College Park. Central Presbyterian Church, aka "the Church that stayed," in downtown Atlanta, was also central in Bill's life. He was an active member of Central from 1968 until his death - and this church family always rallied around him in time of need. He had a passion for making things, too, whether it be informational bulletin boards at school or church, or crafting lamps and jewelry and modifying and refurbishing furniture on his basement workbench, and later in life dabbling with desktop publishing. He enjoyed interior design - especially rearranging other people's spaces - gardening, cooking and retail therapy. He will be remembered by many for his (sometimes irreverent) sense of humor, benevolence, sincerity, networking skills and for generally marching to the beat of his own drum. An only child, Bill was born Aug. 14, 1935 to Christine Tipps Kimes and James Ross Kimes of Fayetteville, Tenn. He graduated from Lincoln Central High School in Fayetteville, Tenn. in 1953, and attended Martin Junior College in Pulaski, Tenn. from 1953-55. In 1958, he graduated from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tenn. with a B.S. in Business Education, and earned a Master's Degree in Business Education from there in 1961. A public school educator for four decades, Bill landed his first teaching job at Cass High in Bartow County, Ga., where he taught for three years, while earning his Master's Degree at Peabody during summer breaks. Craving the bright lights and action of the big city, Bill sought out a teaching position in the Atlanta area, and in the fall of 1961 he was hired by College Park High School in College Park, Ga., where he would stay until the school closed after the 1987-88 academic year and merged into Tri-Cities High School. Also hired by College Park High School in the fall of 1961 was a young English teacher from Mississippi, Martha Sanders. Bill and Martha became fast friends socializing in the same circles and started dating in 1962 - a hot topic in the hallways of College Park High School. They were engaged the following year and married in June 1963. Bill was a member of Georgia Association of Educators, Fulton County Association of Educators, Georgia Business Education Association, Fulton County Retired Teachers Association, Georgia Retired Teachers Association, and sponsor of Key Club and Future Business Leaders of America chapters at College Park High. He was initiated as a Sigma Phi Epsilon Renaissance Brother by the fraternity's Alabama Zeta Chapter (Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Ala.), joining sons Chris (Clemson University, S.C. Beta) and Kent (Huntingdon) as Sig Eps. After a couple of years at Tri-Cities in the late '80s and early '90s, Bill found himself back on familiar ground at McClarin High, an open campus alternative school on-site of the former College Park High, where he headed up the school's vocational education and job-training program to finish out his career on a high note. "He excelled at everything he did," said former McClarin principal Olin Presley. "He was a very talented individual." For most of his career, Bill taught Business Education, including countless typing classes - a skill that has translated to the 21st Century's computer keyboard-dominated society. "He was consistent, interested, and he put the welfare of the student first," said Presley. "He took personal pleasure in seeing them achieve." A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, June 7 at Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington Street, Atlanta, Ga., 30303. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Central Outreach and Advocacy Center, which aids Atlanta's poor and homeless, and/or the church's resident pastors fund. Donations to the Outreach and Advocacy Center may be made online at Higgins Hillcrest Chapel Funeral Home, Newnan, 770-253-4723

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 31, 2015 

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05/26/15 12:29 PM #1    

Robert (Bob) Rogers (1966)

It was 1963 and love was in the air. The topic of Miss Sanders and Mr. Kimes was on everyone's lips as we changed classes along the halls and winding stairways of CPHS. Indeed to our naive but observant young eyes, these two teachers belonged together and such as it was, it came to pass in marriage which came with all of our blessings. For this reason it was such a gas (part of our 60s vocabularly) to see the consumate happy couple still together and looking as compatible - and virtually the same as ever - at the last CPHS class reunion. Both Mr. Kimes and Miss Sanders touched many lives and future careers through their respective taught subjects - his business and hers English. We never knew it then but Mr. Kimes' typing classes would provide keyboarding skills into the 21st century, from a time when no one had a CRT on their desk. Thank you, Mr. Kimes for your time, accumen, insights and love - which each and everyone of us who were touched by you feel - and now miss with word of your passing. Mr. Kimes' teaching us QWERTY summed it up as he was also teaching us something of himself. He exuded Quality, Wisdom, Enthusiasm, Rapport, Trustworthiness and Youth (which he was never short of). One thing for sure is St. Peter won't have to let Mr. Kimes in - I am sure he has his own key after overseeing the CPHS Key Club all those years! God's Speed, Mr. Kimes you will be sorely missed by all of us whose lives you and Miss. Sanders touched - and shall always touch - as long as there are goals to achieve and lessons in business and in life to learn.
Robert (Bob) Rogers

07/02/15 03:24 PM #2    

Jane Ferguson (Graham)

Bill Kimes was a force of nature. As our teacher, mentor, and friend, Bill has been an inspiration. If the walls of his classroom could talk, they would tell us stories about his impeccable knowledge, compassionate nature, unwavering integrity, wicked sense of humor, and gifted skills as a master teacher. To Bill’s friends, he was always available to help rearrange furniture, plan a party, tell a good story, keep all of us connected, and celebrate the many events that occurred throughout our lives. He offered all of his students, friends, and colleagues constant support in so many ways throughout the good times as well as throughout challenging times. I will miss my friend’s constant curiosity concerning the goings-on in my life as well as his genuine concern and love for my family and me.

Of course, Bill’s proudest achievement has been in his roles as a husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather. We all know that his marriage to Martha has been one of the greatest love stories of all time. We can all see what a role model he has been as a father and grandfather. What a beautiful and enduring legacy Bill Kimes has created!

I hope that heaven is ready for the arrival of Bill Kimes. My guess is that he has organized the bookroom, planned a few parties, played a bit of jazz piano, started a dinner club, and straightened out any problems.

I want to extend my love and condolences to the family. There are many stories and memories about Bill Kimes that will keep all of us both laughing and crying for years to come. I am going to miss this unforgettable force of nature: my friend, Bill.

Jane Ferguson Graham (Member of the Class of 1972 and Teacher at CPHS from 1976-1986)

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