Kimberly's keen intelligence and strong character was balanced by a warmth and kindness recognized and appreciated by all who knew her. She always seemed to find time to share her valuable skills and caring with those who turned to her instinctively for advice and support. Having transferred every year or two to a new school as a result of her father's career, she understood the importance of making friends and appreciated having roots in the community she had come to love.
Her last name reflected an inner strength so strong that children to whom she taught the basics of sailing referred to their beloved instructor as "Auntie Rock". Although her death leaves a void never to be filled, her name will be remembered in the dedication of the Kim Strongman Memorial clubhouse by the sailing friends she loved so dearly.
A graduate of Manatee Community College (now The State College of Florida), Kim was a bulwalk of support for her husband for whom her death will forever be an unhealed wound.
Having no children of her own, "Auntie Rock" liked to think of the many youngsters she took under her wing as her own, at least for a short time. Intensely artistic and sentimental sometimes to the point of carelessness, as having left an important navigational aid behind on the day her boat foundered, Kimberly loved poetry. Her favorite authors included Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dylan Thomas, and John Keats.
Although they had not been in touch for several years, Kim was saddened to hear of the death on 911 of a former schoolmate, Yamel Jager. Yamel had gone on to become an EMT and responded heroically in one of towers demolished by a hijacked airliner before perishing in the collapse of the building.
Because Kim was particularly stricken by the huge loss of life on 9/11, the manager of The Kim Strongman Memorial Fund requests that additional donations to Kim's Memorial Fund be sent to Towson University's Elizabeth Wainio Communications Scholarship. Donations can be made to Elizabeth Wainio Communications Scholarship, Towson University Foundation, 8000 York Road, Towson, Maryland 21252.
Although kim never personally knew Elizabeth Wainio, the sailor expressed a sense of kinship to the airline stewardess to whom she referred as "that brave girl who sailed through the air" before her tragic death and vaporization in a rural Pensylvania field.
Kim, aka "Auntie Rock", will live in the hearts of all who knew her. As her husband explains mournfully, "Kim was one of a kind".