Saturday, July 27, 2002

Obituary: John Gimpel, artistic director for Gibson

Helen Steiner Rice was among poets he edited

By Rebecca Billman,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        KENWOOD — For 20 years, John Thomas Gimpel was responsible for the artistic and editorial content of cards produced at Gibson Greeting Cards.

        As managing art director from 1959 to 1979, he was responsible for the work of about 100 artists and verse writers. He edited the work of such well-known writers as Helen Steiner Rice and Alexander Ross.

        Mr. Gimpel died July 20 from complications of Alzheimer's at Kenwood Terrace Nursing Home. He was 87.

        A native of Joliet, Ill., Mr. Gimpel received his art training at the Chicago Art Institute.

        He did sculpting and wood carving before getting in the greeting card business.

        His career began at the P.F. Volland Co., a card manufacturer in Joliet, where he worked his way up to vice president and art director.

        When the business was sold in 1959, Mr. Gimpel opted not to go with the new company. Instead he became a line art director in charge of humorous cards for Gibson Greetings.

        From there he worked his way up to manager of the entire art and editorial departments, according to his son, Jon T. Gimpel of Indian Hill.

        “He was a kind and gentle man,” his son said, “very artistic, creative and a perfectionist.”

        Mr. Gimpel was a member of the Art Directors Club and Men of Milford.

        In addition to his son, survivors include Marjorie Kane Gimpel, his wife of 62 years; a daughter, Kathy DeAngelo of Fairfield; a brother, Robert Gimpel of Joliet; a sister, Ann Dunn also of Joliet; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

        Services have been held. Burial was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

        Memorials: Alzheimer's Association, 644 Linn St., Suite 1026, Cincinnati 45203.




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