Raymond Kimbriel of Mason passed away on September 10th at the age of 86.
Raymond was born on July 27th, 1926, in Van Alstyne, Texas, to Oran G. and Marie Lucus Kimbriel. At an early age, the family moved to San Antonio and established a produce business. He attended school there, and when he was 16, moved to Mason. After graduation he attended Texas A&M and then volunteered for the Armed Services. He was trained in the Army Air Corp in the U.S., then served overseas working on C46 and 47 airplanes.
He returned home to Mason, and married his high school sweetheart, Odessa Eckert. They settled on the family farm and ranch and raised their four children in the Grossville Community. He worked the land raising cotton, peanuts, corn, cantaloupes, watermelons and hay through the years. He ranched, raising Angora goats, sheep and cattle. He loved the land and it was his goal to improve it by planting different grasses, putting in irrigation systems and just being a good steward of the land. Raymond enjoyed hunting, fishing and fellowshipping with his friends. His family and close friends were very special to him and were his pride and joy.
Raymond was very interested in the youth of Mason County raising and showing livestock. For many years, the livestock show was held outside in the open, so he and several others were instrumental in getting the Ft. Mason Community Building built, so events could be held indoors. He served as a father figure for many of our Mason youth. He loved them, counseled them, prayed for them and was there when they needed help. He was active in the local 4-H and FFA clubs, while his children were in school.
Raymond had a vision for Christian education in the Mason community, and in 1988, this dream became a reality when he and Odessa and a group of Christian couples opened the doors to Grace Christian School. He was an instrumental part of the daily operation of the school for many years.
Beginning in 1975, Raymond and Odessa went on lay witness missions to different cities and countries, spreading God’s word. They were also active in Christian Marriage Renewal, helping couples put God first in their lives and marriages. Raymond loved the Lord with all his heart. He was a member of Mason Community Church.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Odessa, and their four children and spouses: daughter Kathryn and husband Seth Martin III, daughter Kerry and husband Bruce Hofmann, daughter Susan and husband Warren Grote, and son George (Hank), and wife Teresa, all of Mason. He also leaves behind 13 grandchildren; Todd Martin and wife, Sheri, Glen Martin and wife, Rae Ann, Jena Hofmann Pantuso and husband Joshua, Dana Hofmann Martinez and husband Hiram, Sarah Hofmann Martinez and husband Steve, Deborah Hofmann, Kurt Hofmann and wife Kimberly, Kim Grote Shutt and husband Quentin, Kyle Grote and wife Shanna, Kris Grote Smith and husband, Jason, Wade Kimbriel and wife Summer, Pepper Kimbriel Kroll and husband Chuck, and Kaci Kimbriel, along with 19 great grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Mason Community Church, P.O. Box 900, Mason, Texas 76856.
A memorial service was held at Mason Community Church on September 11. Burial was at the family cemetery on the ranch.