Judith E. (Battis) Kimball, who helped transition Haverhill’s Kimball Farm from milking cows to raising Polled Hereford cattle and llamas, died last Friday at age 86.
Kimball of Milton, N.H., a former longtime resident of Haverhill, passed peacefully at her home after a period of declining health. She was the beloved wife of the late Leonard H. Kimball, who passed on June 17, 1997.
Born in Amesbury on Sept. 27, 1937, she was the daughter of the late John E. and Sarah L. (Carpenter) Battis and graduated from Amesbury High School and Fisher Junior College.
As a young member of 4H, she met Leonard, a farmer’s son of Kimball Farm in Haverhill. They eventually fell in love and were married. She worked alongside Leonard, renovating the farm. She was an officer of the New England Hereford Association and was an active member of the Groveland Garden Club, the International Llama Association and the Greater Alpaca and Llama Association. For many years they would bring their finest cows to Topsfield Fair and introduced llamas to the annual event. They co-founded the East Coast Llama Show and Sale held in Pennsylvania, the first of its kind in the East. In addition, she was the superintendent of the Greenwood Cemetery in Haverhill for over 50 years, visited dozens of countries, and taught local children to swim.
Kimball had been a resident of Milton, N.H., for the past 21 years and was an active member of the Nute Ridge Bible Chapel, assisting with Summer Bible School. She loved to kayak and garden and was also a member and president of the Milton Woman’s Club, leading the effort to beautify the town with flower boxes. She also took an active role in restoring the local meeting house.
She is survived by her two sons, Tyler C. Kimball and Trevor C. Kimball; granddaughter Grace Kimball; granddaughter Sarah (Kimball) Gilbert, her husband, Justin Gilbert, and three great-grandchildren, Jovie, Jude, and Willow Gilbert. In addition to her parents and her husband, she was also predeceased by her brother, John C. “Jackie” Battis.
A memorial service will be held at the Nute Ridge Bible Chapel, 99 Nutes Road, Milton, N.H.) at 11 a.m., on Nov. 18. She requested her ashes be laid to eternal rest with her husband’s at Kimball Farm in Haverhill.