Captain Russell Kimberling, United States Army, 52, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom during the Peacetime and Gulf War Era and longtime resident of Louisville, passed away on May 23, 2023. Russell was born August 25, 1970 to Robert and Maria Kimberling in Blue Island, Illinois. Russell grew up as an athlete and he enjoyed playing baseball and football. Russell attended Antigo Senior High School before enlisting in the United States Army and attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia with a MOS as 11-C which is an infantry mortar man. After basic training he was assigned to Fort Knox where he served as the General’s driver. After the end of enlistment in August 1991, he joined the Indiana National Guard HHC, 1stBattalion 151st Infantry. While enlisted in the Indiana National Guard he attended the OCS Program taking the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in March of 1998. His last commissioned position was Company Commander C CO 1-152 Infantry Battalion BDE where his leadership and military training took his company to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During his military service, Russell received many medals and honors: Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Marksman Marksmanship Qualifications Badge with Rifle Bar, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver Bar, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal-3, National Defense Service Medal -2, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal.
Russell believed in standing up for what was right and used his to voice to represent one thousand U.S. Servicemembers that guarded Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Facility in the Basrah oil fields in Iraq who were exposed to toxic hexavalent chromium from exposure to sodium dichromate dust that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Russell shared his experience and powerful testimony before Congress.
Russell graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. While attending college, Russell was a member of the fraternity, Sigma Chi, where leaders inspire and empower others to innovate and create change that will positively impact the fraternity and the world. In 1996-97, Russell was elected as Consul, and as president of the chapter he presided over the security of the charter, chapter meetings and activities.
Russell completed his Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Health Care Management from Capella University in 2012. Over the years, his leadership positions continued as district and regional manager for various area health care corporations.
Russell was accomplished in many areas of his life, but he took the most pride in his children and their accomplishments. He never wanted to miss an event and reminisced about his time volunteering as a t-ball and soccer coach for his children. Russell had a love for dogs, as he volunteered Working Dogs for Vets in his community. It was important to him that disabled heroes were provided trained service dogs to feel empowered as they return to civilian life with new-found independence.
Loyal, thoughtful, fixer-upper, loving, and humorous are all accurate descriptors of Russell, however, he is mostly known for going above and beyond for his friends and family. He wanted to help solve problems they faced. Russell believed his faith in God would direct his life and he would be given more power and blessings.
Russell is survived by his two loving children, daughter, Mya Kimberling and son, Kyle Kimberling; father, Robert L. Kimberling Sr.; mother, Maria Kimberling; brother, Robert Kimberling Jr.; twin brother, Scott Kimberling; sister, Carla Kimberling - Stetzer and her husband Grant Stetzer. Russell was adored and loved by his nephews and nieces; Jordan Orgeman, Robbie Kimberling, Karlee Kimberling, Micaela Montano, Manuel Kimberling, Rubie Stetzer, Blaze Stetzer, Magnum Stetzer, Elana Kimberling and many relatives and friends throughout the country and around the world.
All services for Russell will be private.