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James Hall KINSELLA Obituary

KINSELLA, James Hall Esq.

James Hall Kinsella, Esq. a lifelong resident of Hartford died peacefully at home on Monday (October 8, 2012) with his beloved wife, Anne-Marie (Lehrman) and dog Charlie, by his side. He was born on July 12, 1924, to George F. Kinsella and Dorothea (Mooney) Kinsella. He graduated from Bulkeley High School Class of '41 and entered Trinity College. His education was interrupted during World War II when he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Marine Corp, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He resumed college studies and graduated from Trinity Class of '47. A gifted jazz pianist, he enjoyed a short career in music, playing in clubs from Hartford to Washington D.C. with the Jimmy Kingsley Trio. He had a quick wit and loved spinning stories to entertain children as well as adults. However his real love was the law. Mr. Kinsella graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1952, returning to Hartford where he passed the Connecticut Bar and began a private law practice. Following in the public service tradition of his father and Grandfather, he entered Hartford politics in 1953, when at age 29 he was elected to City Council. His fellow Councilmen also elected him Deputy Mayor. Mr. Kinsella continued to serve in that office until 1957 when he was elected Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor in 1959 and served until late 1960 when elected Judge of Probate for the District of Hartford. He served in that capacity until 1984. His keenest joy as Probate Judge was approving adoptions and seeing new families formed. In his 31 year career of public service, he was a candidate for elective office, either primary or final election, fifteen times and he was successful fifteen times. Mr. Kinsella loved Hartford and continued to live, volunteer and practice law in Hartford for more than fifty years. He was an active attorney until his recent illness. Always generous and giving of his time, he mentored many young students and attorneys. He was a familiar figure on daily walks from his West End home to his downtown law office, often noting areas needing attention and quietly enabling projects to improve the City. He left a strong legacy of caring, public service and humor to his 17 nieces and nephews and 32 grand-nieces and nephews who adored him. Known lovingly to them as "Uncle Red," he will be missed for his joyful personality, optimism toward the future, gift for words and constant care and affection. In addition to his devoted wife of 54 years, Anne-Marie, Mr. Kinsella is survived by brothers, Richard J. Kinsella and wife Conchita and George B. Kinsella and wife Linda; a cousin, Conrad Whitney and wife Marilyn; sisters Catherine S. Hogan and Mary Ann Kinsella predeceased him. A special thank you to Frank Corfiati, a friend of twenty plus years and to Dorothy Salesman and to his precious niece, Brenda Kinsella Balch, MD, who helped care for him in his final days. The family would also like to thank the wonderful nurses from Hebrew Home Care and Hospice.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Augustine Church, 10 Campfield Avenue, Hartford, Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. Friends may call at the Dillon Baxter Funeral Home, 1276 Berlin Turnpike, Wethersfield, Friday, Oct. 12 from 4-7 p.m. Burial in the family plot at Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery will be private. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made in his name to the Salvation Army, 225 South Marshall Street, Hartford, 06105 or to a charity of donor's choice. Mr. Kinsella hoped anyone wishing a remembrance would volunteer for some project to benefit the City of Hartford. To share a memory with the family please visit www.dillonbaxter.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Oct. 11, 2012
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