A small piece of Tracy history passed away on Thursday, May 3, 2018. John C. Kimball, a
longtime Tracy resident, physician, and community volunteer died at the age of 94.
John and his wife, Atha, “Mike”, arrived in Tracy in 1954 to join J. Earl Longley’s medical
practice on Parker Ave. On February 14, 1955, the two physicians moved into their new office
at the corner of Tracy Blvd. and Eaton Ave. alongside the new dental office of Leroy Leal. Dr’s
Harry McClelland and John Hume later joined the practice.
John enjoyed a diverse general practice of family practice; obstetrics, delivering over
2,500 babies; orthopedic and general surgery; sports and industrial medicines; and public
health. During this time, Dr. Kimball volunteered as the team physician for 40 years at Tracy
High School. He also volunteered for the Tracy Raiders, Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls
Club, and the Camp Pacifica for the Deaf. Upon his retirement, he gave his time to Tracy
Hospice as the medical director and the Tracy Hospital Foundation.
While in practice, he was active as a staff member of Tracy Community Memorial
Hospital, which became Sutter Tracy Community Hospital. He was elected chief of staff four
times. He was active in the San Joaquin Medical Society, California Medical Association serving
as the county delegate for 20 years, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American
Academy of Sports Medicine.
He was a longtime member of the Tracy Rotary Club, serving as president in 1958 –
1959. With this organization, he worked on the polio eradication campaign. John also held
membership with the Tracy Elks, V.F.W, and American Legion. He served on the Board of
Directors for the Westside Bank.
Dr. Kimball was a lifetime member of the Methodist church participating with numerous
ministries and singing in the choir. He supported Tracy Interfaith Ministries and served on the
Board of McHenry House for the Homeless.
John was born in Fargo, North Dakota to Frank and Bernice Kimball. The family moved
to Los Angeles, California when he was two. While in school his interests included academics,
band, student government, Boy Scouts, and sports primarily football where he earned the
equivalent of the Peter B. Kyne and Weeks Cup awards.
From the age of 8, John began working to help out at home and later to pay for his
schooling. He held multiple jobs including paperboy, short order cook, grocery clerk, movie
extra, and oil well roustabout.
After High school, John entered University of Southern California as a pre-med student.
During this time, WWII broke out and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a corpsman.
Continuing his medical education, he entered Stanford Medical School graduating in 1949. At
this time, he met and married his wife, Atha. After his internship and surgical residency at
Southern Pacific Hospital in San Francisco, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to serve in the
Korean Conflict as a surgeon.
John had many interests. He enjoyed sports all his life whether it was watching a high
school football game, playing rugby and softball in medical school, bicycling through Yosemite,
bowling with friends, golfing with the Rotary Club, or swimming anytime. He loved to travel
exploring the U.S.A and was able to visit 26 countries hitting 6 continents. Music was a lifetime
passion: whether it was a participant at the piano or with the trombone or bugle, attending
musical theatre and performances, or quietly listening to a CD. John loved to learn exploring
topics from archaeology to zoology and always encouraged learning and education.
John was honored and humbled by the recognition bestowed upon him by the
community of Tracy including: Citizen of Year 1999, Family of the Year 1989, Member of Tracy
Sports Hall of Fame, JCK West High Trophy for football Scholar/Athlete, JCK Blanket award for
Tracy High Girls Sports, John Kimball Annual Rotary Scholarship award, Kimball Park, and finally
John C. Kimball High School which he enjoyed visiting and was always interested in the
education of the students.
Dr. Kimball loved medicine and helping people. He was able to live his dream here in
Tracy. His is survived by his wife of 69 years, Atha; son, Marc (Kathy) and daughters Candace
(Bill) Anderson and Carla (Dan) Fansler; Grandchildren Brian (Heather) Kimball, Lainey (Buck)
Haynes, and Taylor Kimball; Johnatha Anderson; Cody and Shane Fansler; Great-Grandchildren
Jack, Charlie, Henry, and Miles Kimball; Sister Frances Green and numerous nieces and
nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sheryn Gibbs Hughes.
Fry Memorial Chapel, 550 South Central Avenue is honored to serve the Kimball Family. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Dr. Kimball’s life at Fry’s Chapel at 10:00 a.m. on July 24, 2018, which would have been John’s 95th birthday. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice. An online guest book is available at www.frymemorialchapel.com for condolences and special messages to the family.