Benjamin Kimbers

[Age 83] Baltimore dentist and World War II veteran loved jazz.

February 23, 2007|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,sun reporter

Dr. Benjamin J. Kimbers Jr., a retired Baltimore dentist and gardener, died of heart failure Tuesday at Sinai Hospital. The longtime Ashburton resident was 83.

Born and raised in Georgia, where he was a 1941 graduate of Athens High School, Dr. Kimbers interrupted his studies at Wilberforce College in Ohio after his sophomore year to enlist in the Army.

Commissioned as an officer, he served in Europe. After the war, he returned to Wilberforce, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1948. In 1952, he graduated from the Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington.

"He was the first person in his family to attend college," said a son, Dr. Ricardo C. Kimbers of Stevenson, who also became a dentist.

Dr. Kimbers moved to Baltimore in 1952 and worked at Crownsville State Hospital and Provident Hospital before opening his dental practice at North Avenue and Monroe Street in 1954.

In 1970, Dr. Kimbers joined eight other black medical and dental professionals in developing the Madison Park Medical Center on West North Avenue, where he practiced until retiring in 1990.

"The four most important things to him were his family, church, dental practice and jazz music," his son said.

His high school sweetheart and wife of 45 years, the former Josephine R. Gilbert, died in 1992.

He was a lifelong member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a founding member of the Left Bank Jazz Society. He was a member of numerous professional dental associations and served on the board of the Boys Club of America.

Dr. Kimbers enjoyed growing tomatoes and cucumbers, which he liked to give away to family and friends. He was a Doberman pinscher fancier and member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of Maryland.

He was a member for more than 55 years of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 2110 Madison Ave., where services will be held at noon tomorrow.

Also surviving are another son, Benjamin J. Kimbers III of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

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