Cover photo for Clifford Norman Kimball's Obituary
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Clifford Norman Kimball

December 17, 1920 — January 17, 2022

Clifford Norman Kimball was the next to the youngest of eight children born to William and Adelthea Kimball. He was born December 17, 1920, at the family home in Chamberlain, MN. He weighed 13 pounds and shortly after his birth he had 13-20 seizures. His 14-year-old brother Harry took the dog sled to go get the doctor. I believe that’s what started his life out to be a strong individual that could beat the odds. He was a hard worker his entire life. It began at age 8 when his dad tied him to the sawmill carriage, and he pulled the lever to bring the logs to the saw. He worked as a Lumberjack with his father, father-in-law, and other relatives for most of his early life. At age 16 he worked at his brother Harry’s sawmill near Bagley, MN for 10 cents an hour. Around age 17 and 18 he worked 10-hour days for 20 cents an hour. At this logging camp they took out 90 cents a day for room and board, so he ended up with $1.10 a day. Their meals consisted of pancakes three times a day. On March 8, 1941, Clifford married Florrine (Flossy) Louise Hochstatter. In those days Dance Halls were very popular and that is where they met. Cliff’s dad, Bill, played the Fiddle in local dance bands. On May 21, 1944, Clifford was drafted into the Army and served during World War II. He was at Ft. Lewis, Wash, but was sent to the East Coast to be shipped to the Philippines and then was transferred to France. He and a few other men were sent up into the Mountains of France to tell the soldiers the war was over. He said that was very scary as they knew they could be taken for the enemy and shot. From there he went to Japan to help build an airport. On one ship they shot off canons and that is how he lost some of his hearing. He was honorably discharged on May 21, 1946. Cliff continued working in the woods and for many years he worked for his cousin and close friend Harris Walsh at his sawmill. The loggers and their families would live in tar paper shacks that could be loaded onto a truck bed and moved to wherever the sawmill was located. In 1982 Clifford built his own sawmill behind their home outside of Park Rapids. He started sawing in 1983 and retired and shut the mill down in 2013 at age 93. He was known as one of the best sawyers in the area. His main helper was Flossy, who piled all the lumber. After she passed in 1994 his nephew Jon Kimball helped at times. Clifford enjoyed working with wood and creating crafts, clocks, furniture and more. He was a lifetime member of the Legion and enjoyed going there with his wife and talking to the other members. You could often find him taking strolls in the woods behind his house, feeding the birds and deer and watching animal life. He loved having a dog, but his last pet was a stray cat he adopted that followed him wherever he went. He was a kind soul to everyone. When Clifford wished on his 99th Birthday candles he said, “Let me make it to 100”. It must have been a big wish because he lived to be 101. He is Survived by his sister, Leone Magnuson, Rosburg, WA., Son, Dean Kimball (Vonnie), Park Rapids, MN. Daughter, Nancy Bronson (Bill) Avon, MN. Seven living grandchildren – Sherry Mikesh (Pat), Janet Admec (Joe), Jim Kimball (Tammy), Hermantown, MN, LaDonna Hanson (Jeff), Bill Kimball all of Park Rapids, Gentry Bronson, New Orleans LA, Kaleb Bronson, Brooklyn Park, MN. fifteen great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren, Sister-in-Law Vera Keep, Brainerd, MN and Brother-in-law Melvin Hochstatter, Park Rapids, MN and several nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his wife of 53 years, Flossy Hochstatter, his parents William and Adelthea Kimball, his siblings Pearl, Harry, Alva, Effie, Violet, Iva, and Sid. Grandchildren – Pat Kimball, Jon Kimball of Park Rapids, MN. With gratitude and a special Thank You to Heidi Packman and Cliff Branham for all that they did to help make it possible for Clifford to live at home until he went into the hospital a month before he passed away at 101. A special Thank You to Jon Kimball and Bill Kimball for responding when Grandpa set off his medical alert.
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