David E. “Dave” Kimmel Sr.


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of David E. “Dave” Kimmel Sr., on February 23, 2024 at Vicar’s Landing Retirement Community in Ponte Vedra, Florida. He braved a 12-year battle with Alzheimer’s. He was a devoted husband of 37 years to wife Melanie; as well as a father, grandfather, Godfather, brother and friend to many. His infectious Irish spirit lives on in all who knew him.

Dave was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on April 25, 1935 to the late Mary Margaret Holleran Kimmel and Cecil Byron Kimmel; he was raised In Youngstown, Ohio. He was predeceased by his first wife of 27 years Patty Sequella Kimmel and daughter Irene. He is survived by his daughter Davene (Mark) Staples and granddaughter Audrey who live in Atlanta, Georgia. He is survived by his son David Jr. (Beatrice) who live in Long Beach, New York with their daughter Isabella Koko. He was predeceased by his brother Cecil in 2023. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Judy Kimmel, and his nieces and nephews. 

His lifelong Catholic faith was nurtured at St. Patrick’s School and Ursuline High School in Youngstown.

Besides earning his B.S. in Education at Youngstown State, he earned his M.A. in Education at Westminster College. Dave was a passionate schoolteacher. He taught History at Princeton High School in Youngstown. He was also passionate about coaching the men’s basketball team at Princeton. 

While at Youngstown Ursuline High School, Davey relished many honors while playing on the gridiron for the Irish. He was known as the “Irish Comet” breaking records while winning about every possible award from All City to All State. As a senior he left his mark earning letters for football, basketball and track. While playing football for Ursuline from 1951-1953 Dave and his team routinely filled the bleachers with 8,000 fans.

While being the most sought-after high school football player in the country, Dave remained in Youngstown playing four more seasons for Youngstown College. There in 1956 he set the school’s all-time individual rushing record for 940 yards that season. He earned the nickname “swivel hips” for his incredible elusive running style. For six weeks he led the nation in rushing until an injury slowed him down. He earned the Associated Press’s “Little All American” status in 1956 and 1957. A year later he signed a contract to play professional football with the Buffalo Bills. He was inducted into the Youngstown State Hall of Fame in 1988 as one of the school’s greatest players.

Dave moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1986 and married Melanie McGrorty in 1988. They were both executives at Steinmart Corporation. Previously Dave had another long career in Human Resources for The Lazarus Stores, The Campbell Soup Company, and Upton’s Department Stores. He also recruited for The Limited Stores in Columbus, Ohio. After retiring he resumed his passion for teaching at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

The family would like to thank Sarah Anthony, Jodi Morgan with Brooks Rehabilitative Aphasia Clinic; The Council on Aging Integrative Memory Enhancement Program team; Community Hospice and Palliative Care team; The Management and staff at Vicar’s Landing Retirement  Community. Deep thanks goes to the following compassionate caregivers who helped Dave in his home: Susie Dominiak, Scott Graner, Joan Biancke, Valerie Howell Crawford, Baylus Sizemore, Mike and Jan Buechele, Roselaine SeJour, Gail Flores, Pat Campanaro, Netia Mendoza and Cody Wright.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday March 23, 2024, 11 a.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. The family will host a reception afterwards at the Parish Cultural Center. Dave will be interred in Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown at a later date.