Bernard Kimmel, MD Obituary – The Palm Beach Post

The family of Dr Bernard Kimmel announces with sadness his death on 02/11/2022 at the age of 95. Son of Louis and Hilda Kimmel, Dr. Kimmel was born 11/18/1926 in Highland Park, Michigan and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan. He is survived by his sister, Arvene Dickstein, his 3 daughters; Maurice Elaine Degler, Kathy Lynn Kimmel, Lori Jean Kimmel, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Dr. Kimmel completed lettering from the Royal Oak Public School System and was a member of the High School Rifle Team before graduating in June 1944. He immediately joined the United States Navy. The Navy sent him to school at Ohio Wesleyan University where he wrote on the track and after which he joined the crew of the United States Navy ship LCS 13, serving in the Pacific until discharged July 3, 1946 Upon his return to Michigan, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, graduating in June 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics.

After working at different jobs for 2 years, he enrolled in the Mayo Clinic School of Physical Therapy in Rochester, Minnesota in 1950, graduating in June 1952. It was there that he met his future wife , Sara Anne (Sally) Street who also attended the same school. On the recommendation of doctors at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Kimmel applied to medical school at the University of Michigan and was accepted for the class of 1952.

Bernard and Sally were married September 6, 1952 in Syracuse New York at his family home and after a short honeymoon moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he began medical school and Sally began working as a physical therapist at the ‘University Hospital. While taking courses in medical school, he also served as a lab assistant teaching anatomy to dental students. After graduating in 1956, he was class treasurer and a member of Galen’s Honorary Medical Society. Dr. Kimmel followed this with post-graduate training at Toledo Hospital, Toledo, Ohio. Licensed in Michigan and Florida, they decided to practice in Florida and joined the family practice practice of an established practitioner in West Palm Beach, Florida. Bernard was board certified in family medicine and practiced as a family physician in West Palm Beach for 40 years before retiring in 1997.

Active in the medical community, Dr. Kimmel practiced for a time at Pine Ridge Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital (where he served as Medical Staff Secretary), St. Mary’s Hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Hospital, Lake Worth General Hospital, Dr.’s Hospital of Lake Worth (where he served as chairman of staff), and John F. Kennedy Hospital (where he served as chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and chairman of staff medical). Active in medical politics, he was a delegate to the Florida Medical Society and served as president of both the Florida Academy of Family Practice and the Palm Beach County Academy of Family Practice. He was also president of the Palm Beach County Medical Society. He was the host of the Palm Beach County Medical Society TV show for several years and had a 2 hour call-in radio show for 2 years. Dr. Kimmel was named “Family Physician of the Year” in 1983, received the “AH Robins Award for Outstanding Community Service” in 1986, and the “Palm Beach Habilitation Center’s Outstanding Humanitarian Award” in 1988.

Interested in sports as well as service, Dr. Kimmel was the team doctor at Forest Hill High School for 28 years and was an avid golfer whose accomplishments were the pride of his 3 holes in one. He was elected to the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame in 1984. He received the “Special Service Award” from the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administration in 1989. He served on the Board of Governors of the West Palm Beach Municipal Country Club for 24 years . As a volunteer, he accompanied the annual Palm Beach County School Safety Patrol train trip to Washington for 16 years. He was a volunteer for the Special Olympics Palm Beach and received the “Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year Award” in 1988. He also served as President of the Special Olympics Palm Beach for 2 years.

In 1972, Dr. Kimmel was elected to the Palm Beach County School Board and was re-elected in 1976, serving two years as president. As a result of his service on this council, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1980 and was re-elected in 1984 to committees dealing with education, commerce, and medicine. He received the “Florida 67 Award for Leadership in Education Legislation” in 1986. He then served for 4 years on the Palm Beach County Community (now State) College Board. Subsequently, he joined the board of trustees of JFK Hospital Charter School and became its president. He helped integrate the school into the Somerset charter schools conglomerate and became a member of the Somerset Charter Schools Board of Governors, a position he held until his death.

Dr. Kimmel, at the request of the head of the Florida Department of Health, has agreed to be appointed to conduct investigations into the health care provided to inmates in Florida correctional facilities as a physician for Florida Correctional Health Authority. He conducted these investigations with a health care team until the Authority was concluded after 5 years.

After retirement, Dr. Kimmel worked with the Florida Atlantic School of Nursing to design protocols for their nursing practitioner graduates. He did a special literature review for the Palm Beach County School Board on the potential effects of microwave electron radiation on learning. But most of his time was spent traveling, golfing, and other leisure pursuits. He loved cruises and with his wife until his death in 2013 after 61 years of marriage, and even after that he took many cruises to various destinations around the world. He earned a private pilot’s license and, for a short time, was part owner of an airplane which he flew through Florida and along the eastern seaboard of the United States. He continued to play golf until it became a physical problem and he spent his later years enjoying his growing family. . He passed away peacefully at home after a slowly progressive illness.

His cremation will be conducted by the Neptune Society and his ashes will be used to re-nourish the earth.

Family friends are invited to celebrate his life at the family home on 11/18/2022 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the Kimmel family is requesting that donations be made to Trustbridge of Palm Beach County in honor of Bernard “Bubba” Kimmel.

Posted on November 04, 2022

Posted in The Palm Beach Post

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