Chester Van Kimberling, 80, of Monte Vista, Colorado passed away on March 10, 2021 at the Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte, Colorado. He and his twin brother were born in Kilgore, Texas on April 6, 1940 to Chester and Rosabella Kirch Kimberling.
His childhood was spent in the oilfields of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, ending in California where he and his twin brother enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during their senior year of high school. Van proudly served his country from 1958 to 1962. After completing basic training at Camp Pendleton, he served in Okinawa, Hawaii, and Alameda, California. Following that he went to Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands. It was there where he volunteered to start a Boy Scout troop, a love he continued later in life.
He then found his way back to Long Beach, California. He traveled to Denver, Colorado to be the best man at his brother’s wedding, where he met the love of his life, Della Marie Sanderson of Monte Vista, Colorado. Ten months later he returned to Colorado to claim residency. Della and Van were married at the Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado on April 23, 1966.
In 1970, they moved to the Sargent Community in the San Luis Valley. Here Van established Van’s Decorating, his successful paint contracting business. Over the years, he was known to pass on his values, work ethic, and love of painting to both of his sons and many nieces and nephews by providing summer employment. After 45 years of painting numerous churches, banks, and homes he retired. One of his most satisfying jobs was painting the entirety of the Old Cow Town Resort in Saguache, Colorado.
He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Monte Vista Masonic Lodge, Bethlehem Chapter OES, and the Monte Vista American Legion until it disbanded. He served with the Boy Scouts for 25 years as a Scout Master with Cub Scouts in the Sargent area and later with Troop 286 in Monte Vista where he helped numerous boys from the community attain the rank of Eagle Scout on their way to becoming young men.
He was extremely proud to be a United States Marine veteran, continuing through the years to wear his uniform in Color Guards in various parades around the San Luis Valley as well as serving with honor guards at numerous veterans’ funerals. Van was a “Once a Marine, always a Marine” man.
Van loved to be in the mountains hunting and fishing with his family and his friends.
He was famously known for his weekly Friday donation of Gaga donuts. Each week he would deliver leftover donuts to various places around Monte Vista, but his number one task each Friday was to make sure his four grandkids received fresh donuts.
Van was preceded in death by his parents, twin brother Woodrow, a half-brother, three sisters, and his daughter Anne Marie Kimberling Stone.
Van is survived by his wife of 54 years, Della Marie, sons Shane (Laura) and Eric (Jen), grandchildren Kelsey, Clay, Meghan and Eilidh, son-in-law John Stone, step-grandchildren Ricky and Megan, and many beloved in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Services will be held at a later date.
Go rest high on that mountain. Well done, good and faithful servant.
Cremation was selected and a service will be held at a later time. To express condolences, please visit www.rogersfunerals.com.