Due to renewed interest, this is a re-post of an article from the original version of the TCHS site from July 9, 2002.
Ward Kimball, one of Temple City's most famous residents and an icon of the animated film industry, has died at age 88.
One of Walt Disney's core group of animators known as the "nine old men," Kimball participated in the development of both Walt Disney Productions and the Temple City Schools.
At Disney, he was credited with the transformation of Mickey Mouse into his modern rounder, jollier personna. He crafted the lovable Jimminy Cricket for Pinocchio and won academy awards in 1956 (Man in Space) and 1969 (It\'s Tough to be a Bird).
During the 1940s and 50s, he contributed to the life of TC as a participant in community theatrical and musical events. Despite his fame, he was not above being the target of on-stage humor. The Kimball home was best known locally for the full scale railroad that lies perpendicular to Ardendale St.
Kimball wrote and directed a trilogy for the "Disneyland" television series. The programs, "Man in Space," "Man and the Moon," and "Mars and Beyond" are often credited with popularizing the concept of the government's space program during the 1950s.
The Firehouse Five Plus Two dixieland jazz band with Kimball on trombone was considered "our own" by TC residents of the 1950s. The group performed at many local events over the years, while earning national recognition for its joyful style.
Kimball is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty; three children, John Kimball, Kelly Kimball and Chloe Lord; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Kelly, John and Chloe are all TCHS graduates.
(You can add your own memory of Ward Kimball in the Comments below. --Ed.)
I will track down and re-post the original comments. (See also this post