Paul Kimberling, a union leader instrumental in the merger of Oregon plumbers and pipefitters locals more than three decades ago to create United Association (UA) of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 290, died Jan. 6 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 74.
Kimberling was business manager of Portland Steamfitters Local 235 in 1985 when the merger took place. The amalgamation included his local, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 in Portland; Local 347 in Salem; and Local 481 in Eugene. A year prior, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 191 in Klamath Falls and Local 621 in Coos Bay were integrated into Local 51.
It was the largest merger in the history of the international UA at the time.
Kimberling was the first president and business manager of the newly-formed local. He served in that capacity for one term.
Paul Edmond Kimberling was born in Vancouver, Washington, May 23, 1944, to Edmond and Mary (Matteson) Kimberling. They later moved to Portland, where Paul graduated from Jefferson High School in 1962.
He entered the steamfitters apprenticeship program in 1964, and was active in the union.
He retired in 2001with 55 years of service to the union.
Kimberling was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 10 years ago. He spent his last two months at a memory care facility in Bremerton, Washington. At the time of his passing he was at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton with family and close friends by his bedside.
Kimberling was preceded in death by his wife Barb in June 2005.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Penny (Stanley-Nelson) of Bremerton; his son, John Kimberling of Happy Valley, Oregon (John is a business agent for Local 290); his daughter, Deanna Kimberling of Vancouver, Washington; stepson, Troy Haun of Riverside, California; stepdaughters Kellie Rienks of Poulsbo, Washington, and Jodi Young of Bremerton; and 12 grandchildren.
At Kimberling’s request there will be no service. Memorial donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Research at alz.org/orswwa.