Paul T. Kinney (1925 - 2012)

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PAUL T. KINNEY Soldier, Scholar and Sailor Paul T. Kinney, 87, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 in Chico. He was born Sept. 27, 1925 in San Jose, CA. During WWII, Paul enlisted in the Army while he was 17 years of age and still in High School. After his basic training, he was assigned to Company C, 432rd Reg. 106th Inf. Division, which was in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge. Paul was a "runner". The runner's job was to carry communications between the front lines and command posts in the rear. This required him to be frequently exposed to enemy fire, and consequently Paul was wounded twice, earning two Purple Heart medals. His second wound was caused by shrapnel from a German artillery shell and was severe. He was incapacitated by his wounds and left lying unconscious in the snow on the battle field. The front lines were fluid, and neither side was taking prisoners. When Paul regained consciousness, a German soldier had a boot on Paul's wrist and was removing a watch. Fortunately for Paul, he decided not to shoot him and took him to a German military hospital, where he was treated and retained as a POW until he was liberated in 1945. After his liberation, Paul was a patient in a military hospital near his home in San Jose, where he spent two years in recovery. While hospitalized, he earned his High School diploma. Following that achievement, he enrolled in San Jose State College and earned his B.S. He continued his education at USC, where he earned a PhD in economics in 1957. After completing his PhD, Paul and his family moved to Urbana, IL, where he was an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Illinois. While there, he discovered the new technology of computers. After seven years in Illinois, Paul wanted to return home to California. From 1963-1966, Paul was a Professor of Finance at California State University, Fullerton, as well as the Director of the computer center. In 1967, he was appointed the acting Dean of the School of Business Administration at Fullerton State. In 1968, he came to Chico State University as head of the newly created Division of Business. Paul's goal was to create a School of Business that would meet the high standards established by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). In 1972, admission to the (AACSB) was achieved, and Paul was appointed the first Dean of the College of Business at Chico State. He continued in this capacity until 1979. Early in the development of computers, Paul was instrumental in acquiring the necessary space and hardware for a computer laboratory for the College of Business. He was a pioneer in the use and development of business simulations designed to be used in the classroom, which became popular with other Schools of Business. Under his leadership, Chico was designated the first Small Business Development Center in the nation. In 1980, Paul returned to teaching in the classroom and research. He continued this until his retirement in 1986. Upon retirement, he was designated an Emeritus Faculty. In 2010, he was one of the first five people inducted into the Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association Hall of Honor. The Hall of Honor designates exceptional retired faculty and staff. After retirement, Paul was able to pursue his lifelong love of sailing. He was a charter member and Commodore of the Chico Yacht Club. He and his wife, Fritz sailed in some of the best places in the world. They also took a trip around the world by other means of transportation. Paul was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Josephine "Jody" Shaw; his parents, Ross and Gladys Kinney; and his brother, Edward Kinney. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Fritz (Waggener); sons, Michael (Deborah); Robert (Ann); daughter, Loree Penner (Steven); step daughters, Kathy Oberst (George); and Kristin Tully (Michael); ten grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A Memorial to honor Paul will be held in January on the campus. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Paul's name to the Bidwell Mansion Project, P.O. Box 496, Chico, CA 95927.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Nov. 22, 2012
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