Ted Kimura, who meant so much, to so many, lost his battle with cancer, but found his way home on Sept. 25th, 2020, at the age of 75. He was born in Caldwell, ID, May 7th, 1945, but spent most of his life living and working in the Nampa area.
He was a man of few words, who had an undeniable presence and a beautiful soul.
You may remember him as the Parts Manager at Campbell Tractor in the late ‘60s. Or possibly you bought a car from him in the ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s. He spent the majority of those years at Dobbs Motor in Nampa, however, he also worked at Curt and Hal’s in Caldwell, and later, at Jon’s Auto in Nampa. But, if your affiliation with him was primarily between ’98 and 2019, he was likely the one responsible for tending your lawn, making friends with your dog, and reassuring you he’s just a phone call away. Kimura Lawn Service had a 22 year run and when Ted was diagnosed with cancer in January of this year, being forced to load up for the last time, it was a toss-up as to who was the most upset, Ted or his cherished customers. Because somewhere in the ether, between those two dates, ‘customers’ and ‘friends’ became synonymous.
Few people worked harder than he did the last quarter-century, but he maintained the necessary balance by playing as hard as he worked. Graduating from Nampa High School in 1963, he was always athletic, excelling in football and track. His claim to fame was holding the school record for the 100 yd. dash, a record that was never broken. He may have forgotten to mention that it was never broken because they switched from yards to meters a few decades ago, a detail he enjoyed leaving out, due to his mischievous and teasing nature. Into his sixties he was still challenging (and beating) doubters half his age.
In the stark reality of adulthood his athleticism transitioned onto the links, which soon became his ‘happy place.’ Whether as a participant or martial at Nampa’s Centennial Golf Course, Ted found his second home. And along with that … his second family. Most everyone there became a friend to some degree, and the buddies he actually golfed with, carried the distinction of being friends since high school! Our wish is that everyone could have a Nels, Jerry, Dave H, Dave B, Cliff, Dennis, Rick, & Skip in their life! These guys are golden. They always cleared the way for Ted to remain on the course throughout his treatments and setbacks; providing transportation when necessary; calling almost daily with updates; offering to read to him; and always checking in to see how he was feeling. They literally shared their carts and their hearts with a buddy who loved them unflinchingly! On a special Facebook page we set up for Ted, one of the guys said, “If he can’t come to the course, we’ll bring the course to him.”
There were many sides to Ted, but all were consistent with someone who starts and ends each day with conviction. Because he exhibited the wisdom of an old soul, there were many friends who leaned on Ted in times of trouble, sought his opinion when faced with difficult decisions, and opted to seek his guidance when the fork in the road confused them. Ted’s reputation for using common sense to get to the root of the problem, was indisputable. However, depending on the conversation and the problem, the listener may have also been subjected to a peppering of salty language that will never appear in their own personal thesaurus. It just happened to be the way Ted delivered the sage advice they so trustingly sought and received.
Ted was a tease, though, and a little bit of a prankster. Ask almost anyone who’s known him for a while, as they all have their own stories. Among his favorite memories was the night one of his daughter’s best friends came with a group of other teenagers to TP our trees in the dark of night. He could have just opened the front door and asked if they needed help, but that would’ve been too easy. So he chose to watch patiently from the bedroom window until his daughter’s friend got no more than three feet away, and he yelled, “What are you doing?” It startled her so badly, she got tripped up and stumbled at the base of the tree before making her priceless getaway. Although she always continued to be one of Ted’s favorite people, he realized his record in the 100 yard dash came alarmingly close to being shattered that night. And it would’ve been his fault!
He lived well and finished well, which explains the 60+ vehicles, filled with 2, 3, and sometimes 4 occupants, who participated in a surprise 75th drive-by birthday party in May. The outpouring of love rendered him speechless (for maybe a hot second), after which he kicked to the curb all our carefully established ‘Covid 19 Rules’ and made up his own. The show of support for their beleaguered friend was a reflection of the fact that, in this life, Ted had always led with his heart and chose his friends based on theirs.
Surviving Ted are his wife (of 54 years), Linda; daughter Alissa Rossman and husband, Todd; their sons, Tyler and Cole; daughter Karin Hobbs and husband, Evan; their children Casey and Chloe Persons, and Ava Hobbs. He is also survived by brothers, Fred (Kiyomi) Kimura, and Frank (Phyllis) Kimura; sisters, Lil Kiyokawa, Frances Kaneshige, and Jane Wing. Many cherished nieces, nephews and in-laws are also grieving Ted’s loss, as are a multitude of treasured friends. Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Harue Kimura, brothers Hitoshi, Dick and Kay Kimura; and sisters, Teruko Honda and Blanche Fujii. Through the years, ten beloved dogs and two typically independent, but, adorable cats also shared his lap and life. They were oftentimes responsible for bringing out his softer side, until three years ago, when the torch was passed on to a great-grandson, Kade Kimura Rossman, who, not surprisingly, transformed Ted into a very proud and smitten “Bapa.”
Per Ted’s request, there will be no services at this time. However, with the hope that spring brings fewer restrictions due to Covid 19, we are planning a Celebration of Life at a later date. Our desire is to honor and share the love of this wonderful man who would want nothing more than for joy & laughter to fill the air and for love to rule the day.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice or to a local Animal Shelter. On Ted’s final trip home from the hospital, four days prior to his passing, he said, “Mom (Linda), we need to get another dog.” He loved animals and they loved him. We know your donation would be greatly appreciated and lovingly received during these very difficult times for the shelters.
The Kimura Family offers our heartfelt thanks to Treasure Valley Hospice and Nampa Funeral Home for their expert and compassionate guidance and for helping us to fulfill Ted’s final wishes. We are eternally grateful.
We would also like to thank all the family and friends who joined us on the Facebook page we set up specifically for Ted in the early days of his illness. You shared his journey of a lifetime, not as observers, but as full-on participants. Without your own inspiring stories, and without the funny & touching memories you've shared the past nine months, we would have been lost in our own thoughts rather than lifted by yours.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ted M. Kimura, please visit our floral store.