CLYDE - Robert Tabor “Bob” Kimzey, 87 passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Bob was born in Transylvania County to his parents, Robert “Rob” Tabor and Margaret Morris Kimzey. In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his sister, Carolyn Ives.
As a young college student at UNC, Chapel Hill in the late 50’s, Bob’s affinity for civil rights, equal rights and developmentally appropriate education for children began. He graduated with a focus on political science and education. After teaching in public schools in Chapel Hill, Bob was the academic principal at the North Carolina School of the Arts. With another degree in education, Bob then accepted the role of State Early Childhood Consultant to help coordinate the implementation of the North Carolina Kindergarten Program, bringing four and five-year-old children into the public school system. During this period, Bob hired Norma Logan from Scotland whose background was in early childhood teaching practice. Together with teams of experienced teachers they conducted week-long summer institutes for prospective teachers and teacher assistants in early childhood classrooms. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s goal was to implement developmentally appropriate practice with four and five-year-olds, with the focus on how children learn: hands-on experiential learning with real life materials in the natural environment.
With the completion of enrollment of five-year-olds in public schools, Bob transitioned to the role of Early Childhood Consultant, at the Western Regional Center, serving the 18 school systems in the western part of the state. Bob and Norma continued their work in western North Carolina Schools. They also served as consultants over several years, with the U.S. Department of State, American International Schools in Africa, Central and South America.
In Bob’s retirement years, he continued his strong interest in civil rights, volunteering at the Pigeon Multicultural Community Center and being involved in local chapters of the ACLU and NAACP. His concern for our environment caused him to volunteer with Haywood Waterways, checking our streams for signs of pollution. His photography hobby shifted from his slides of children involved in learning to photos of places and people in his travels.
Bob is survived by his wife of thirty-eight years, Norma Lumsden Kimzey of Clyde; daughter, Liz Kimzey and her spouse, Amy Seed, of Leicester; son, Rob Kimzey of Durham; brother, Jim Kimzey, and his wife, Janet, of Brevard; and his nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at a drop-in reception from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at the Wells Events & Reception Center in Waynesville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Waynesville or Habitat for Humanity in Waynesville.
The care of Mr. Kimzey has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.