Tate, Susan Rebecca
August 11, 2022, age 71
GOODING—Susan Rebecca Tate (Kimmes) died on August 11, 2022 at her son’s home in Gooding, lovingly surrounded by her family and friends.
Susan was born on May 31, 1951, in Oakdale, California to Virgil Leon Tate and Elizabeth (Willis) Tate. Originally raised in Missouri around the Springfield/Branson area, Virgil & Elizabeth moved the family, Susan, her older brother Leon, and younger brother David, back to Kansas City Missouri to be near family and friends. Susan attended school there until she was around 12 years old when the family moved west again; out to Boise, Idaho for a short stint, eventually settling in Fruitland, Idaho.
When she started school in Fruitland, Susan started going steady with and soon married Larry Kimmes and had three children. Larry Todd Kimmes and Rebecca Elizabeth Kimmes were born in Idaho. After moving the family to California for a short time, Larry took a position that led to quite an adventure in Senegal, West Africa for the Bud Senegal Company. It was a farming project that taught natives how to plant, irrigate and raise crops to sustain their families. Susan and Larry learned many life lessons with their young family and made lifelong friends. After two years living and working in Senegal, Susan and her family returned to America where their third child, Aaron Scott Kimmes, was born.
While in Africa Susan had had suspicions Todd, her oldest, was deaf. Returning to America, her suspicions were confirmed. Susan started researching schools that would be in her son’s best interest. They were living in Burley, Idaho when it was determined Todd’s needs would be well served at the Idaho School for the Deaf (ISDB), in Gooding, ID. Todd was enrolled as a residential student for the first year. A few months later the family moved to Gooding and bought a farm; now Todd could live at home and attend ISDB as a day student.
Susan quickly started learning ASL and pidgin sign language and interpreting to be able to communicate with their son. It turned into a lifelong career. She became a cottage supervisor and an interpreter at the school and for many different venues: courts, public hearings, private meetings for the Deaf community to communicate for health or legal matters. Susan served as an interpreter for many years for many children. When Aaron was 8 years old, Susan traveled to a town near Portland, Oregon to complete her training as an interpreter. While in Portland finishing her finals, Susan learned that her beloved youngest child had died in a tragic accident; a tragedy that changed Susan’s life forever.
While continuing her dedicated work at ISDB, she and Larry divorced. Todd graduated from high school and went on to the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world, Gallaudet University, in Washington D.C., to study and play football. Wanting to continue her work in the Deaf community, Susan and Becki loaded up and moved to Burns, Oregon where she took a position interpreting for a Deaf student in a public school. It was good for both mother and daughter to have new starts and rekindle their relationship.
After Becki finished high school and got married Susan was ready for a sabbatical. She sold most of her belongings and, with a friend at her side, she left Bend, OR in a Ford pickup named Betsy and an 18′ fifth wheel trailer named Ethel. Traveling first to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, Calgary, Alberta, these adventurers continued west to Highway 1, Pacific Ocean Coastal Highway, heading south to the tip of the Baja in Mexico. After a ferry ride to the main island of Mexico, another road trip brought them to Nogales, AZ. Their extraordinary pilgrimage persisted through Texas and on to Arkansas ensuring her friend could visit family. Traveling on to Missouri allowed Susan to visit her family around the Branson area, then launching their trek north thru South Dakota where getting matching tattoos of a coyote howling at the moon on their keisters truly commemorated the trip. Continuing into eastern Wyoming and up to Montana, the travelers were joined by another friend for last two weeks of this grand adventure as they zigzagged thru parts of Montana and Wyoming. An almost four-month precious adventure about which Susan said, “I think this trip ruined me for ever working again.”
But, the Navigator of her journey had a different route in mind. Returning to Gooding, Susan found odd jobs until she was re-hired at ISDB as a cottage supervisor. In conjunction with her full-time position in Gooding, Susan also found the energy and commitment to take on another full-time position interpreting at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho in the Welding Department for several years. Summer breaks and her giving heart gave Susan the opportunity travel with her parents from Fruitland, Idaho to Missouri for family reunions. Frequent trips with an assortment of friends and boyfriends for fun escapades included a trip with a friend as far east as Memphis, Tennessee to visit Graceland, the home of one of her favorite singers, Elvis Presley. (A Merle Haggard fan, from the beginning of his career, Susan requested that she be dressed in her favorite Merle Haggard T-shirt, with the word “legend” on the back, as she traveled to the mortuary.)
Life does not slow as Susan retires from ISDB, sells her home in Gooding, purchases a 26′ fifth wheel and, accepting a one-year interpreting position, heads to Caldwell, Idaho. When the year ended, Susan, for real, retired to Phoenix, Arizona. Winters in Arizona and summers traveling to see friends and family, Susan was able to keep connected to her Idaho connection using her son’s home in Gooding as a homebase. Despite her hatred of the cold, Susan agreed to accompany a friend to Alaska for a 25-day tour starting at Glacier National Park in Montana. They traveled through Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory and onto Alaska. Visiting friends in Anchorage and Soldotna, they enjoyed a river float trip on the Kenai River before traveling north to Fairbanks and discovering the North Pole AND salted caramel fudge enroute south back to Anchorage. [An all-time favorite treat; even mentioning it 8 years later, 4 days before she died]. On the way out of Alaska she noted “A person could almost get sick of viewing waterfalls, glaciers and pine trees.” She was ecstatic, as she made her way into southern British Columbia, to find herself in sagebrush.
Susan’s next chapter was selling most of her material possessions again and living in her RV north of Phoenix. She loved living simple. She put her energy into learning the different flora and fauna of the Arizona desert. Susan pursued her passion for paranormal activities attending Star Knowledge meetings and conventions to learn and be in the presence of healers and people who knew more about alien activity in this realm of time. It intrigued her to be aware of her surroundings and to be woke after her time on earth was finished. She loved to sage her spaces and kept gemstones in her surroundings to ensure good energy. Collecting feathers from all over, Susan believed they were love from people who had crossed over. Meditating daily and keeping her chakras in balance, Susan kept her spirits up during the last days of her life.
Susan was a free spirit. She loved people. She didn’t care if you were a king or a pauper. She had the most unique way of standing up for the underdog or putting someone in their place for bad behavior with her grace. She brought out the best in people. Her students, as adults, would say to her “You were tough on me but, you brought out the best in me.” She was always the life of the party and knew no strangers. She was a force to be reckoned with and your best moral support through any kind of tragedy. There was never a dull moment, and you never ran out of things to converse about. Her compassion and empathy for people were her most extraordinary qualities. Her mantra and wish for everyone in her life was to “live simple, be kind and love one another”
She is preceded in death by her beloved son, Aaron Kimmes; and her parents Virgil and Elizabeth Tate.
She is survived by her son, Todd (Kim) Kimmes, Gooding, Idaho, her daughter Rebecca (Fred) Bisconer, Yacolt, Washington; her brother, Leon (Kathy) Tate, Morgan Hill, California, and her brother David (Debra) Tate, Weiser, ID; her ex-husband, Larry (Sharon) Kimmes, Gooding, Idaho; six grandsons and six great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and too many friends to count.
A celebration of life with be held on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 3:00 pm. It will be hosted at Todd and Kim Kimmes’ home, 1826 South 2100 East, Gooding, ID. Meat and rolls will be provided. Please feel free to bring a side dish, your own beverages, and a lawn chair.
Cremation arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Gooding Chapel.
Condolences, memories and photos can be shared with the family by following the obituary link at www.demarayfuneralservice.com
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