Cover photo for David D. Kimball's Obituary
David D. Kimball Profile Photo
1952 David 2019

David D. Kimball

December 30, 1952 — August 24, 2019

David Kimball, 66, software entrepreneur, participated in clinical research trials to advance lung cancer treatment

David Kimball, software entrepreneur and advocate for lung cancer research, died Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Confronted with stage four lung cancer in May 2012, Dave addressed a devastating diagnosis by embracing life fully with gratitude and focusing on his family and experiences. He traveled, took a writing class, published articles and appeared on Boston public radio station WBUR's "This Moment in Cancer" series. Dave was an enthusiastic participant in three clinical research trials. One of these trials produced practice-changing knowledge for patients with his specific lung cancer mutation and type (EGFR).

Residing most recently in Dorchester, Mass., Dave was born in Flushing, NY, on December 30, 1952. His childhood was filled with schemes and projects, from go-carts and rockets to the 1960 Triumph TR-3 he purchased and beautifully restored at age 17, which still takes to the road each summer. Dave studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Connecticut, where he met his wife Kristen, who lived upstairs in his dormitory. Dave received his B.S. in 1975, followed by an M.B.A. Dave and Kris settled in the Glastonbury, Conn. house he built, where they raised their family of three children and an assortment of golden retrievers and other pets.

Dave's long information technology career began in the 1970s and included his work at The Travelers, where he managed the network design team. In 1985, he became one of the founders of Packet/PC Inc., which initially developed software that allowed IBM PCs to communicate with IBM mainframe computers. He became company president, leading its expansion from three founders to 70-plus employees worldwide. Packet's communication products serviced clients throughout the world; in the early 1990s, the company's name changed to Telepartner International. He led the company until his retirement in 2012.

Dave's interests were diverse. His avocation was crafting beautiful furniture in his extensive basement workshop. He was an avid rower, spending many delightful hours on the Connecticut River with friends from the Hartford Barge Club and Riverfront Recapture. In addition to his two rowing sculls, he had a collection of watercrafts on which he enjoyed his beloved Long Pond in Harwich, Mass. Four years into his treatment, he took his oncologist for a highly anticipated rowing lesson on the Charles.

Dave obtained his intermediate emergency medical technician certification and served as an EMT for the Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association for more than eight years. His interests, besides woodworking, included hiking and backpacking, flying radio-controlled planes, photography, tinkering with anything that needed fixing—and always his family.

Involved in every aspect of his children's lives, Dave served as a Boy Scout leader (Glastonbury Troop 156) and encouraged their many interests, from dance and music to car mechanics. He joined his son, then in college, on the final, difficult leg of his Appalachian Trail through-hike up Mount Katahdin, in Maine. He inspired his teenage daughter to chase her dreams in New York and Los Angeles by introducing her to those cities and celebrities she admired in the music industry. With his middle daughter, he took long walks in the woods, shared her love of dance, and even attended a Backstreet Boys concert. He made each child feel unique and spurred new interests – including assisting him in siding and shingling the house he constructed on Cape Cod. Dave's three grandchildren were his special joy, prompting camping excursions and big-kid projects with his eldest grandchild and delighting in his two toddlers. For them, he made the everyday world magical.

Dave leaves Kristen, his wife of almost 43 years, and their children: daughter Jess Leslie, daughter-in-law Lauren Leslie and grandchild Beckett Leslie-Jones of Brooklyn, NY; daughter Annie Kimball, son-in-law Dwight Sigsbee and grandson Rylan Sigsbee of Germantown, MD; and son Robert Kimball, daughter-in-law Erin Kimball and granddaughter Lily Kimball of Dorchester, Mass. He also is survived by his mother Grace Kimball; brother Stephen Kimball and sister-in-law Darlene Kimball; sister Doris Hohensee and brother-in-law Paul Hohensee; brother John Kimball and sister-in-law Noreen Dwyer-Kimball; brother Michael Kimball; brother William Kimball and sister-in-law Beverly Kimball; brother Fr. Paul Kimball, as well as his sister-in-law Jane Murphy and brother-in-law Paul Murphy. Dave continues to influence the lives of his nieces and nephews, who admired and adored him and spent treasured moments with him. He will be remembered by a global community of friends.

Dave's family would like to express its never-ending gratitude to his caregivers, including Dr. Roy Herbst at Yale New Haven Smilow Cancer Center. Dave's MGH caregivers are too numerous to list. They include the clinic check-in team on Yawkey 7, the phlebotomists, medical assistants, clinical research coordinators who helped manage clinical trial details, and scheduler Lynn Dahlin, who worked magic when Dave needed immediate, special scans. Special thanks to the palliative care team, in-patient doctors, nurse practitioners and care assistants. Special thanks to the Ellison 16 oncology nurses who provided exquisite, compassionate care as Dave transitioned to hospice.

Dave's family expresses its profound gratitude to the core team that cared for Dave since January 2014: Dr. Helen Shih, radiation oncologist; Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Ackil; Research Nurse Lisa Stober; and especially beloved oncologist Dr. Lecia Sequist. "Words are simply inadequate; we can never thank you enough. We love you."

For those who wish, Dave asked that they carry on supporting the Massachusetts General Hospital in his name, specifically to further the oncology nurses' education and professional development, as well as the research programs of Dr. Shih, including long-term cognitive effects of brain radiation, and Dr. Sequist, who studies Dave's exact mutation, how to target it and cope with resistance mechanisms, plus novel methods for early detection. One only needs lungs to be at risk for lung cancer, as Dave's shocking diagnosis illustrated. The importance of this research – and the need to find answers – cannot be over-emphasized.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may made to Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Care Center in memory of David Kimball. Checks may be made out to Massachusetts General Hospital c/o Marisa Baglaneas, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114. (Please make the check payable to "Massachusetts General Hospital" and note "in memory of David Kimball" in the memo line or in an accompanying note.) Gifts may be made online at . Click on "Donate Now." After designating your gift, the second item says "Tribute Info" – check the first box and you can then designate "in memory of David Kimball."

At Dave's request, no funeral services will be held. However, readers can honor Dave's memory by living as he did – cherishing time with loved ones, treasuring life and all its experiences, and promoting kindness and compassion to one another every day.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David D. Kimball, please visit our flower store.


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