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August 17, 1941 - July 10, 2020
August 17, 1941 – July 10, 2020
A loving spouse, Mother, “Granny Bear,” Aunt and Friend, Nora passed away at St. Peter’s hospital in the loving and prayerful presence of husband Morton Alan and daughters Christina Marie, Jennifer Irene and Stephanie Lynn during the hour of Divine Mercy on Friday, July 10 after suffering an unrecoverable stroke.
Daughter of Oscar and Pearl Deschamps of Frenchtown, MT, Nora moved to Tacoma, WA with her family in the early 60’s where she worked as a bookkeeper at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and later met Morton Alan Kimball on the slopes of White Pass Ski Area, during “the years of the big snows.” After an adventurous courtship, they married on June 17, 1967 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Tacoma, WA. A widower, Morton brought to the marriage a son, Stephen Marcus Kimball (1954-2006) whom Nora came to love as her own. They settled in Yelm, WA on what is now known as the Kimball Ranch.
After recently celebrating their 53rd anniversary, both Mom and Dad looked back on their 58 wonderful years of friendship and love. Mom was known for her sparkle, and her sparks, and for her enduring sense of humor, famous punch lines and silent charity. Like her own mother, Mom was a lady of few words. She was quiet, which is to say she was a woman of endurance, great discipline and resilience; a woman of fortitude. As a virtue, fortitude gives us the strength and courage to remain firm in our faith, in our love and to overcome life’s ever-changing challenges. Mom was no stranger to suffering and knew well its many faces. She heroically overcame them all and grew in a joy that intoxicated us all.
Nora had many more practical qualities. She liked to keep track – or score – of everything. Where most families might ceremoniously break the dinner plate of those about to depart the nest, Mom liked to present us with a ledger detailing every dollar spent on us after turning eighteen. And if that wasn’t enough, upon marriage she would present us with a thorough account of the family genealogy of our new spouse: names, dates and stories, from the sordid to the regal. She loved a good story just as much as an adventure. During our elementary years, she volunteered as a librarian at Southworth where she worked with Kristin Blalock, Betty Casavant and Billie Norris and she later became president of the Parent and Teachers Association. She had a heart for selflessly serving those she loved.
Life for Mom was marked by many adventures. If you know Dad, this should come as no surprise. From the treasured month-long hikes across the cascade passes into Canada, laden with a backpack sporting two chubby little legs and a bobbling head, to St. Mark’s Square in Venice, the sandy beaches of Mexico and the glitz of a Washington DC Gala she found an easy appreciation for the simple and the eccentric. Mom, together with Dad, appreciated and admired the majesty of the great outdoors, the charms of other cultures and the occasion to step out in glamour.
Mom’s inner beauty rested in her quietude but her outer beauty could not be hidden. It has been said that even the movie stars “held no candle to your Mom.” She always maintained a poise that reflected both her inner dignity and her classic beauty whether on the dance floor in a flawless jitter bug, or in her garden where she loved to “get her hands in the dirt.”Her memory will remain a shining example of dignity, resilience, fortitude and joy.
The youngest of three, Nora was preceded in death by her older brothers, Phillip Deschamps of Alberton, MT and Ronald Deschamps of Frenchtown, MT. She is survived by her loving husband, Morton Alan Kimball, Sister-in-law Dorothy Deschamps of Missoula, MT, daughters, Chrissy (DeHan), Jennifer (Watson) and Stephanie, nieces and nephews Paul, Cathy, Dennis, Allan and Adele and her seven grandchildren, Christian, Johnathan, Matthew, Nicole, Morgan, Jackson and Pia, who adored their “Granny Bear” deeply.
Services will be provided by Woodlawn Funeral Home. Please join the family in loving memory of Nora Marie Deschamps Kimball. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to welcome donations to St. Columban Catholic Church in Yelm, Washington.