John Mark Kinney

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  • "My sincere condolences to the Kinney family on your great..."
  • "John will live on in our hearts - eloquent, honest, and..."
    - Molly & Jack Hodges
  • "May God comfort you and your family in this time of sorrow..."
    - Carolyn
  • "Sorry to hear of John's passing. You are a beautiful and..."
  • "I will always remember John in his CAP uniform, very..."
    - Matt Felix
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John Mark Kinney was born 83 years ago in Syracuse, New York, and died suddenly on July 6, 2015, in Juneau, Alaska. An ardent book lover, his life was a book with many chapters. His early years as a son of an Army officer, were spent in many parts of the country, including New York, Oklahoma, Texas and California, and they contributed to his love of travel and history. He graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas, earned a B.S. degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1956, and an M. Div. from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in 1958.
John came to Alaska in 1958, driving the Alaska Highway in his VW Beetle (with his first wife, Sue, and one year old daughter Laura); to serve as a curate at All Saints Episcopal Church in Anchorage. In January, 1959, he celebrated being ordained a priest, the same month that Alaska celebrated statehood. He then served as priest to churches in two villages in western Alaska, Holikachuk (now Grayling) and Shageluk; travelling, between the villages by boat in summer and dog team in winter. He also spent a year as rector of St. George's in Cordova, Alaska. John returned to Texas (with 3 children-Laura, daughter Shawn and son Mark) and served as a priest in Dallas until 1967. Son Chad and daughter Shannon joined the family in Dallas. During his summers while in Dallas, he attended Nashotah House Seminary, Nashotah, Wisconsin, and received an S.T.M. degree in 1967.
John then launched another career path, the next chapter in his life, when he returned to The University of Texas at Austin and received an M.L.S. degree and began work as Texas State Archivist, a position he held from 1968 to 1976. He also received an M.A. in history in 1970. He and Sue were divorced in 1972. While Texas State Archivist, John was active in many professional activities, serving as President of the Society of Southwest Archivists; chairing numerous committees of the Society of American Archivists; presenting many papers at professional organizations; and publishing over 20 articles in historical, archival and library journals. In 1972, he attended the International Congress on Archives in Moscow (USSR) and in 1974 he was designated a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.
John met Nina Keeler in Austin in 1973, and they were married in April, 1974, beginning another chapter in his life. In 1976, he was able to combine his love for Alaska and his career as an archivist when he became State Archivist of Alaska, a position he held until his retirement in 1987. John and Nina shared many interests, including travel to many foreign countries (including Europe, the Cook Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and four trips to Turkey, a country they found fascinating).
The flying chapter of John's life included becoming a private pilot, achieving commercial and instrument ratings, and CFI certificate. He and Nina had many adventures flying all over Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon, to Inuvik and Tuktoyuktuk in the Northwest Territories, as well as many places in the lower 48, including three flights to the EAA fly-ins in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and a trip to Baja California. With his amphibious float plane, John was able to pursue another dream, that of building a cabin at Chilkat Lake. He spent many summers at Chilkat Lake, first building a cabin and then making improvements and modifications plus enjoying the peace and beauty of life on the lake. Most of his time at Chilkat Lake, he was accompanied by one of his dogs, most recently Black Lab Gus, another major love of his life.
John is survived by his wife, Nina, of Juneau; daughter Laura Westcott (fiancé Danny Armacost) of Austin, Texas; son Chad Kinney (wife Kim) of Gig Harbor, Washington; daughter Shannon Harris (husband Tim) of San Antonio, Texas; plus two granddaughters, Caitlin Marie Kinney and Madalyn Louise Kinney of Gig Harbor, WA; niece Susan Thompson (husband Gary and son Lucas) of Juneau, AK; and other nieces and nephews in Nevada, Texas and Taiwan. He was preceded in death by his daughter Shawn Marie Kinney and son Mark Andrew Kinney as well as his parents Melita Louise Kinney and John Edwards Kinney.
Donations may be made in John's memory to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, or to a .

Friends are invited to attend a celebration of John's life on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 2:00 to 4:30 pm at McPhetres Hall, Holy Trinity Church, 325 Gold St., Juneau.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Aug. 17 to Sept. 16, 2015
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