Norman V. Kinsey
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SHREVEPORT, LA - Norman Victor Kinsey, devoted husband, family man, businessman, philanthropist and civic leader passed away on September 11, 2011 following a brief illness. Norman continued to exhibit his good nature and positive outlook throughout his final days and spent most of his remaining time expressing his love and gratitude to his wife, Peggy, his family and friends.
Norman was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on January 7, 1921 to Norman Victor Kinsey, Sr. and Eleanor Lamkin Kinsey. He attended Creswell Grammar School, Byrd High School and Louisiana State University. World War II temporarily interrupted his studies, and Norman entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1942. During the war, he served as part of an invasion fleet that landed in Morocco and then fought their way across North Africa, ultimately finishing the war in Italy. His military decorations included an amphibious assault arrowhead, 9 battle stars, 2 Presidential Unit Citations and the Bronze Star for exceptional service in support of combat operations. Norman returned to Shreveport with the rank of Major and re-entered LSU Law School in January 1946, earning two degrees in 1947, a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Laws.
Following college and law school Norman returned to Shreveport to join his father in business during the pioneering days of this region's oil and gas industry. They participated in the development of the Carthage Field in East Texas, and the founding of Transco Energy Company, Pacific Northwest Pipeline, Texas Illinois Natural Gas Pipeline and Piedmont Natural Gas Company. After his father's death in 1960, Norman successfully guided and grew his family's business over the next 51 years. In addition to his 31 years of service on the board of directors of Transco Energy Company, Norman was engaged in various other business ventures as well, including exploration, production and transportation of energy, real estate development, timber, venture capital and other personal investments.
Norman was a strong advocate of education. He co-founded the Montessori School for Shreveport and the Ridgewood Montessori School. He established the LSUS American Studies Program and annually sponsored fellowships for Caddo Parish secondary school teachers to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Summer Teachers Institute to spark their interest in teaching history and civics. Norman had a curiosity and thirst for knowledge as evidenced by his enthusiastic participation in The Tarshar Society, and the Raleigh Tavern Society of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. He was an active member of the U.S. State Department Fine Arts Committee in Washington, D.C., which maintains the diplomatic reception rooms for visiting foreign dignitaries and heads of state, and through this affiliation he met the Secretaries of State from George Schultz through Hillary Clinton and the Presidents under whom they served.
Norman served on the boards of numerous local, state and national civic organizations and served as chairman or president of such associations as the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, Council for a Better Louisiana and Boy Scouts of America Norwela Council. He received a number of distinguished awards for his service to the Boy Scouts of America, including the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope, Wood Badge and Louisiana's first Distinguished Eagle Award. The National Conference of Christians and Jews honored Norman and Peggy with the Brotherhood Humanitarian Award in 1984, and the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce named Norman "Businessman of the Year" in 1993, Byrd High inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1999, LSU Baton Rouge inducted him into the E.J Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction in 2000 and the LSU Distinguished Alumni Association in 2008. LSU-Shreveport named him "Pilot of the Year" in 2001. In May of this year Louisiana Public Broadcasting honored Norman as a "Louisiana Legend".
Norman's primary interest was his family, and he always kept their time together interesting with his many and varied hobbies including travel, photography, sailing, power-boating, hunting, fishing, classical music, cooking, fine wines and working in his machine shop. He was active in the United States Power Squadron, in which he rose to the rank of Navigator, and frequently took his family on boating trips to area lakes and rivers as well as the Caribbean Ocean. He and his sons hosted numerous memory-filled hunting trips to the family farm in South Texas, where the wildlife, food and fellowship were abundant. He was a founding member of the Sous-Commanderie du Shreveport of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, an international Burgundian wine society, and was awarded the title of Grand Officier Honoraire. Although the offices of Kinsey Interests are filled with photographic evidence of his many interests and his travels with his wife and children to all seven continents as well as the North Pole, he often remarked that he was very proud of the fact that he had lived in only three houses in Shreveport, with those he loved for his entire life.
Norman continued to keep regular office hours and a busy social calendar up to the end of his life. He was a longtime loyal member and lay reader at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, as well as a member of the Shreveport Club, Shreveport Country Club, Shreveport Petroleum Club, Shreveport Yacht Club, Dallas Petroleum Club and Houston Petroleum Club.
Norman is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Margaret Mary "Peggy" Wright Kinsey, and their four children, Glenn Victor Kinsey, husband of Ellen Sheridan Kinsey, Christopher Mahr Kinsey, husband of Judith Mayer Kinsey, Rebecca Louise Kinsey and Richard Norman Kinsey, and by Levin Sewell Kinsey. He is also survived by eight grandchildren Kara Kinsey, Camille Kinsey, Eleanor Kinsey, Bridget Kinsey, Patrick Kinsey, Maria Kinsey, Anna Kinsey and Austin Kinsey.
Brimming with energy and enthusiasm to the end, Norman enjoyed his family, business, and hobbies to the fullest. His joie de vivre will always be remembered as his greatest legacy for his children and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Rose-Neath Funeral Home on Marshall Street, Wednesday, September 14, 2011, from 5 to 7 pm. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 11:00 am on Thursday, September 15, 2011. The Reverend Guido F. Verbeck, III will celebrate the service, assisted by the Reverend Paul D. Martin. Serving as pallbearers will be Randy Best, J. Chris Colvin, Dr. Chris Erickson, T. Haller Jackson, III, Bobby E. Jelks, Patrick Norman Kinsey, John S. Odom, Jr. and Lawrence Russo, III. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Giuseppe Brucia, Reverend M. Allen Dickson, Kevin B. Hill, James D. Ray and the Honorable Tom Stagg.
Norman was a generous and long-time supporter of the Community Foundation of North Louisiana and the family recommends that memorial donations be made to the Community Foundation at 401 Edwards Street, Suite 105, Shreveport, Louisiana 71101, Boy Scouts of America, Norwela Council, P. O. Box 4341, Shreveport, LA 71134, or to a charity of the donor's choice in lieu of flowers.
Published in Shreveport Times from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2011