Eddie Franklin Kimbrell passed away peacefully at home in London Mills, Illinois on December 21, 2021 at the age of 88, after a life well-lived. Eddie was born to Guy and Della Kimbrell on June 3, 1933 on the family farm in Granite, Oklahoma. He graduated from Mountain View High School
He and his three brothers, Bill, Leroy and Leon worked hard farming and raising livestock in order to keep the family housed and fed. Eddie attended Oklahoma State University where he earned his degree in Animal Husbandry. Shortly after, he was drafted into the US Army and served for the next 2 years. In 1959, Eddie set out for Washington DC with $50 in his pocket to take a job with the US Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. He remained with the USDA for many years and received a scholarship to attended Stanford University’s fellowship program. He was eventually promoted to Deputy Administrator, a position he held through many Administrations. Eddie made numerous contributions over a decades long career with the Department, most notably serving as the Chair for the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Geneva Switzerland, where he was dedicated to developing international food safety standards and practices. He was an eloquent public speaker with a humble heart. The small town farmer became a successful bureaucrat but never forgot where he came from. In 1998, Oklahoma State University dedicated the “Eddie F Kimbrell Scholarship Fund” to acknowledge these accomplishments. After retiring from the USDA, Eddie served as Consultant for many agencies including the Pork Producers, Orange Growers, Dole and Monsanto. His work and connections facilitated continued progress for Agricultural Standards world wide. Eddie was a sharp witted, fun loving, incredibly generous man who adored his family. He enjoyed playing golf, whether with government Cabinet members or his son, hunting, fishing and “shooting the breeze” over a frosty Bud Light. When he would double over in laughter, it was impossible not to join him. Eddie will be dearly missed and most fondly remembered.
Eddie is survived by three children; Michelle Ann Grenier MD, Paula Ann Behnken (husband Lawrence) and Duane Eddie Kimbrell (wife Sara) and his grandchildren; Zachary Behnken, 1LT Michaela Behnken (and husband 1LT James Pettigrew), Madeline Handler, Travis Handler, Jacob Handler, Jamie Kimbrell and Lainey Kimbrell, he is also survived by great-grandchildren that loved and adored him, in addition to his much-loved nieces, nephews and friends. He is also survived by his loving wife Zita Kimbrell and her children Edward K. Schulthes(wife Sallie), Scott Schulthes (wife Jane) and Cindy Schulthes.
He is preceded by his parents.
Funeral Service will be held on Friday January 7, 2022 at the Wise Family Funeral Home in Avon at 11:00am. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral service. Burial will be at West Midway Cemetery in London Mills. Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospital for children in Chicago or OSU College Stillwater Oklahoma. Online Condolences may be made at www.wisefamilyfuneralhome.com Wise Family Funeral Home in Roseville is in Charge of arrangements.