Donald J. Kinney, 92, of Galesburg, passed away at 1:32 am Saturday February 9, 2019 at Seminary Manor Nursing Home.
Don was born on May 3, 1926, adopted by Harry and Gladys Pickrel Kinney, of Galesburg, Illinois. Sadly, Gladys passed away eight years later. His Dad would marry Vera who became his stepmother.
Harry was a railroader, and away from home frequently. Vera encouraged Don to join the Scouts, which eventually became the main source of stability in his life. He then served, from age 16 to 18, as Scoutmaster to a Troop whose leader was drafted into the military during WWII. Following the war he would serve for more than five decades as a Scouting volunteer.
Don joined the US Navy upon graduation from Galesburg Senior High School in 1944. As a member of the US Navy Amphibious Corps he and a small crew of 12 men participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima, and occupation of Japanese held islands until 1946.
After the war, Don married Chloetta Maye Johnson, the girl next door, and the love of his life, on March 28, 1948. He attended Browns Business College for a time. First working in a local print shop, then as a delivery man for Park Drive Dairy, Don eventually became part owner of the Dairy as it expanded into several Dairy Stores, and the Swedoughs donut company.
Don left the dairy business, and for a time worked as a quality control person for Butler manufacturing. He also worked as a sales agent for Connecticut Mutual Insurance Company before joining the professional staff of the Boy Scouts of America. He served first in the Prairie Council headquartered in Galesburg, then the Chippewa Valley Council in Eau Claire Wisconsin, until his retirement.
Don was intensely family oriented, and extended family vacations with the tent strapped to the top of the car took us to the Rockies, the coast of Maine, Canada, Wisconsin and New Mexico.
Don was active at Trinity Lutheran Church, having served on the Church Council. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Exchange Club, and Chairman of the Camp
Shaubena Board. As a lifelong Scouting volunteer, Don served as Scoutmaster of Troop 202 at Trinity for over 40 years, and later as Scoutmaster of the Cook School troop. He
earned the Eagle Scout award, and has been recognized by the Council with its highest award, the Silver Beaver, and the Lutheran Lamb Award.
At the age of 40, Don started running. He collected a small group of devoted running friends who ran thousands of miles. Don ran for 40 years until he turned 80 and his knees had had enough.
He is survived by his wife of over 70 years, Chloetta; a son, Donald A. (Judy) Kinney of Rockford, Illinois; a daughter, Rebecca A. (Terry) Williamson of DeWitt, Michigan; and five grandchildren, Erin (Randy) Helms, Katherine (Patrick) Noga, Elizabeth (Matthew) Blind, Seth (Amy) Williamson and Isaac (Colleen) Williamson and eleven great grandchildren, Evan, Lydia and Claire Blind, Zachary and Maren Noga, Sophia, Clayton, Liam and Piper Helms, Zoe and Grace Williamson and a twelfth on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents. He leaves a legacy of community involvement, character mentoring through Scouting and Youth programs, all reflecting his faith in his Savior, with whom he now lives.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Rev. Frank Langholf will officiate. Visitation will be from 9:00-10:00 am Tuesday at the church. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Galesburg Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.