NAFA President 1996- 1999
Jeffrey D. Kimmel, Mrs. Kay Kimmel, Sam Kimmel, Thomas and Eleanora
Kimmel, Marek Plater, The Thomas Angerman Family, Alan and Venice
Beske, Margaret Brittingham Brant, Frank Cebula, Larry and Cynthia
Dickerson, Ruth Malek Drombroski, Rod and Ellen Gehrlein, Brenda
Graham, Howard and Elizabeth Mandigo, Nathan and Celeste Matthews,
Education Kansas - Joyce Mooney and Patricia Schnowers, Terry Morrow,
Karla Perotta, Eugene and Solveig Spuhler, Central Kansas Photography Club,
H.L. Shearer Sporting and Literary Society, Vicky and Jack Stoddart, John
and Frances Williams, Mike and Karen Yates, James and Elizabeth Zaranek
Biography of J. Timothy Kimmel,
Ph. D.
by Sam Kimmel (an older brother)
John Timothy (“Tim”)
Kimmel and his twin
sister, Charlotte Ann
(“Cholly”), were born
on December 15, 1951,
and named after their
parents. He was the third
son in a family of ten
children – five boys and
five girls. The Kimmels
operated a 300 acre
dairy and cattle farm in
western Pennsylvania.
Tim always said with
respect to country living
that he could never live any other way”. He would always have at least one
dog his entire life. His lifelong interest in nature was encouraged by his
grandmother, an avid birdwatcher. A chance water rescue of a great horned
owl when he was six years old began his journey in the field of falconry and
the study of birds of prey.
Tim was a better than average student. He played trombone in marching
band, competed in gymnastics and pole vaulted for the track and field
team. Tim graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology from Indiana University
of Pennsylvania (“IUP”) in 1974 and went to Southern Illinois University
(“SIU”) receiving a M.A. in Zoology in 1977. His master’s thesis involved the
study of the American Kestrel. He lived in a “Spartan cabin in the woods
while pursuing his master’s degree.
Tim was the winner of a National Wildlife Federation photo contest in 1980.
The ten Kimmel siblings in 1963
His photo of young barn owls appeared on the front cover of National Wildlife
magazine (April-May 1980) and was selected as Cover of the Year.
Tim returned to PA to teach biology at IUP after graduation from SIU. In 1981, he
began teaching at Villa Maria College in Erie, PA. It was here that he truly began a
history of service to his passion, profession and community. He served as President
(1984-1988) of Presque Isle Audubon Society and as Newsletter Editor, Secretary/
Treasurer and President of Pennsylvania Falconry and Hawk Trust (1982 – 1992)
being named Life Honorary Member in 2003. In 1987 he obtained his falcon
breeder’s license. In 1988 he became a licensed private airplane pilot. He hosted
great parties, served wonderful dishes of unusual picnic food and entertained
everyone with stellar performances on the flute and harmonica.
In 1988 Tim began work on his doctorate at The Pennsylvania State University, a
favorite family institution of higher learning. His Ph. D. was conferred in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences in May 1995 concluding studies of
the habitat of the Northern Goshawk in Pennsylvania while he continued to publish in Wing Beat, Turkey Talk, Journal of North American
Falconers Association, Pennsylvania Game News, Journal of Raptor Research and the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania while giving
scholarly presentations for the Raptor Research Foundation, Pennsylvania Wildlife Society, Pennsylvania Game Commission and others.
He was the recipient of the 1991 Roger M. Latham Award for being an outstanding graduate student in the School of Forest Resources at
Penn State and became a member of Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary science society.
Tim moved to Kansas in 1993. He taught at Barton County Community College
until 1999 when he became Director of Institutional Research and Records and
chaired a number of important committees. After a short stint in private industry
he returned to teaching at Hutchinson Community College and Area Vocational
School (“HCC”) and remained there as a beloved professor for the rest of his life.
While in Kansas, Tim took up western dancing, served as President of the Kansas
Hawking Club (1994-1996), and as Director At-Large (1992-1996) and President
(1996-2000) of the North American Falconers Association. Many will remember
Tim opening up his home at Ellinwood for lodging, standing room only, and
setting up his tipi for “spillover” sleeping space at the many hawking meets held
there. He began woodworking, making furniture and remodeling his home, in
addition to tending his fruit and vegetable garden.
Tim traveled widely in his last fifteen years. He was a member of the Advisory
Committee for the International Association for Falconry and Conservation
of Birds of Prey and chaired its Scientific Committee. In conjunction with his
falconry-related travels and, independently, he continued to pursue his love of
wildlife photography. He hunted African game. He traveled to France, Spain,
Morocco, Poland and the UAE. He delighted in hunting with friends and taking
North American game including elk, pronghorn antelope, deer and black bear.
Tim had a great love for good friends, former students and family. Though
he never married, he continued a search for a “soul mate until his untimely
death from natural causes on May 14, 2012. His friends and family will always
remember his telephone calls, especially at birthdays and holidays, just to “say
hello and stay in touch.
Tim was the winner of a National Wildlife Federation
photo contest in 1980. This photo of young barn
owls appeared on the front cover of National Wildlife
magazine (April-May 1980) and was selected as Cover
of the Year.
Because Tim so well understood the
nature and habits of wildlife (wild
or captive) he was an EXTREMELY
SUCCESSFUL big game hunter,
fisherman, and of course, falconer.
-Ken Felix
tim was a scientist, teacher, leader, outdoorsman,
photographer, gracious host, musician & great friend.
IN MEMORIAM: Dr. J. Timothy “Tim” Kimmel
Above: Tim with new Eyass
Top & bottom second colum; Alaska, 2008
Third colum, hunt in 2000
Fourth colum top: Idaho, 2001, bottom: Africa, 2003
by Ken Felix
Tim Kimmel was one of the most multi-faceted individuals one
could ever hope to meet.
He was first and foremost a scientist. Not a lab guy, but a
real field scientist. He spent innumerable hours observing
nature, documenting his observations, and then subjecting his
collected data to exhaustive statistical analysis. Then and only
then did he form an opinion. No one could ever argue with
his results. He was probably the most well respected goshawk
biologist in the country.
Tim was a teacher. He was extremely well versed in multiple
disciplines including botany, limnology, physiology, anatomy,
natural history, and statistical analysis, just to name a few. All
of these subjects he taught at the college level. His students
adored him because of his infectious enthusiasm, his vast
knowledge, and his calm and amiable demeanor. His most
valuable attribute was his ability to transfer that knowledge and
enthusiasm in an understandable and enjoyable manner to his
students. He was simply the best at it.
He was a leader. Tim was the president of his local Audubon
Society Chapter at a time when falconers where not held in
high esteem in that organization. The dickey-birders” elected
him to that office because he was able to educate them about
the conservation accomplishments of the falconry community.
He was elected by his fellow falconers as the president of the
PFHT, Pennsylvanias state falconry club and later appointed by
the Board of NAFA as their president as well. He served both
offices with competence, efficiency and fairness.
Tim was an outdoorsman. Because Tim so well understood
the nature and habits of wildlife (wild or captive) he was an
extremely successful big game hunter, fisherman, and of course,
falconer. His birds, be they buteo, falcon, or accipiter where
impeccably well kept and as gamey as anyone could ever desire.
Tim was a prize winning photographer. Some of his fantastic
nature shots received national acclaim, appearing on the cover
of such prestigious publications as National Wildlife.
He also was an accomplished gardener. His garden provided
some of the most delectable fruits and vegetables ever to grace
a dining table, and boy could he cook. Tim could make a duck
breast or rabbit leg taste every bit as delicious as a filet at Ruths
Chris Steakhouse.
He was always a gracious host. Countless numbers of
falconers made the annual fall visit to “Kimmel’s Hotel and
Restaurant in Ellenwood. Tim would supply lodging, meals,
guide service and entertainment to anyone who arrived. The
entertainment came from Tim the musician. He could play the
blues harp like no one else. When he would bend a note, the
hair would stand up on your arm. It was sweet!
Tim was an athlete. Back in his college days, he was a
competitive gymnast. He was remarkably strong, extremely
agile, and unbelievably flexible. Up until just recently, he did a
round-off back hand spring every year on his birthday.
Tim was a great friend. Tim possessed more integrity, loyalty,
dependability, and quality than anyone could ever ask for
in a good, good, friend. The world has lost one of its finest
If God has a refrigerator, there is a picture of Tim Kimmel on it.