In Memory of Past Officers no longer with us.

Timmy Kimball

Tim Kimball dressed casually, seated outside at Starbucks gathering

Timmy Kimball, known to most of us as Tim. Tim served on our board. He had ideas and plans, he had a wicked sense of humor and a most positive outlook. He encouraged many of us and for a deaf man, was a great listener.

By ALDA Suncoast CART Provider and friend Tess Crowder
Tim was a great friend of ALDA and an inspiration to many. He was kind, compassionate, empathetic, understanding, supportive, and had a great sense of humor. He was the “Book of Job.” I have never heard of a person who has suffered more than Tim has. Despite all of his struggles, he always maintained his sense of humor – and we laughed a lot. Tim was known for his great bumper stickers plastered on the back of this wheelchair – everyone’s favorite: “Does this chair make my butt look fat?” And he had custom made T-shirts related to his deafness and which expressed his personality. One T-shirt read, “I survived a brain surgery, an earthquake, and a hurricane all in one week” - which was all true! Social media gave him connections to many of his friends, which is where he found his purpose, expressed his sense of humor, and where he was an inspiration to so many others. He was an avid sports fan – even had a tattoo on his leg of the Stanley Cup when the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Cup that year! After his leg amputation surgery, in which the surgeon was able to save his tattoo, he decided to change the phrase or acronym from LMAO to LMLO – Laughing my leg off! Tim loved to socialize and would attend many Deaf socials. His family and friends were loved and cherished; and his family and friends loved and cherished him as well. We miss him terribly, but his spirit lives on through all of us. One of Tim’s favorite quotes: “Always be yourself – unless you can be Batman – then ALWAYS be Batman!”

Cindy Baxter Reese

Cindy Reese dressed up in black pantsuit standing on left arm in arm with Bill Reese in suit standing on right

Cindy Baxter Reese, known online to us as CinnyD. Cindy helped Lois in the beginning years of our chapter, she served on the board and served us even when she wasn't on the board. Cindy was our long time social director, she was younger than most and had her hand on the pulse of the group. She managed to get all these people with little in common but hearing loss and provide social opportunities often enough and varied enough to please everyone.

By Cindy's husband Bill Reese from ALDA News
Cindy was the heart of ALDA-Suncoast (Florida) from shortly after its beginning in 1995 until she died on January 28, 2015. She was our true leader, no matter what position she had on the board. She was always planning our events and guiding us in our associations with Communication Access, Inc.(CAI) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). She did all this even while suffering from the complications of NF2 (neurofibromatosis type 2). It’s a genetic condition—either spontaneous or hereditary—in which tumors grow on the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, causing deafness and other symptoms. By the time Cindy died, she had lost the ability to walk and use her right hand and had limited use of her left hand. Yet through it all she always had a positive attitude and ministered to others with her disorder and to those of us in ALDA-Suncoast. One of her proudest accomplishments was that, despite having NF2, she had continued to work from age 17 until she chose to accept disability retirement at 42 in 2011. Cindy helped found AdvocureNF2 to support research into a therapy and, hopefully, a cure. She also established a couple of the first NF2 email support lists and helped research herbs and natural supplements that had an effect on tumors, even using herself as guinea pig for over 15 years. She had some success, but unfortunately, nothing got rid of all the tumors. Eventually, one got too large, and during the surgery to remove it, she suffered complications and died two days later. Cindy enjoyed worshiping at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Clearwater, Florida. We were baptized there about seven years ago, and shortly after that, she held sign language classes for our congregation. She kept us involved in events and ministries there and particularly enjoyed ministering to migrant workers in Immokalee. Because of her, I learned to be gentler in what I said to others. She couldn’t raise a frying pan to my head but she could to my heart. She taught me how to cook and we were a good team—she would tell me what we were cooking that night and lead me through it, and I came to enjoy cooking through her guidance. She planned our vacations around trips to participate in experimental NF2 drugs, the natural history study of NF2 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or our support for others with NF2. She was particularly fond of our drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, describing our first one as an IMAX movie of the whole 400+ miles. We were married two weeks before Cindy died. I know some will ask what took us so long—we were together for 10 years. I asked myself the same question after seeing the picture taken just after our civil ceremony, where Cindy had a most beautiful smile. (We didn’t have enough time to arrange a wedding and reception with our congregation, family, and friends—she had been busy planning that before she went in for surgery.) We had lived together so long as husband and wife without the legal paperwork that it seemed almost unnecessary. But we both were moved exactly the same way at the same time—we wanted to be right before God before the surgery. I thank God every day that He not only moved us that way but also gave us a wonderful, loving time together. Cindy was confident in her heart that if she were to die, she was right with God, and she told others in her last month that it was the happiest of her life. I mourn her loss every minute of every hour of every day...yet I can only wish that I will pass on to be with God being as happy and prepared to meet Him as Cindy was.