Obituary of William James Kinney
William James "Bill" Kinney, a beloved member of the Elmira community, passed away peacefully at Arnot Ogden Medical Center, on February 5, 2024, at the age of 78. Bill was born in Elmira, New York, to Charles and Marjorie (Sheehan) Kinney. He attended Elmira Free Academy, graduating in 1963. Bill furthered his education at Mohawk Valley Community College (1965) and the University of Albany (1967), eventually earning his Masters from Elmira College in 1975.
Throughout his life, Bill wore many hats. He began his career as a teacher at Southside High School, where he would later meet his wife, Hazelle. In addition to his teaching career, Bill also ventured into the business world, owning and operating several establishments, including the Elbow Room, Bus Horigan's, Hi-Bar, Timothy Sheehan's, Stone Acres Convenience Store, Blueberry Hill Ice Cream Shop, Southern Tier Diving Center, and Kinney Wine and Spirits Emporium. He worked for decades in real estate, finishing his career at Howard Hanna in 2020.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Bill had a wide range of hobbies and interests. He was an avid reader and loved to share books with his group of friends. Throughout his life, he served on several community boards, always striving to make a positive impact on his surroundings. He was a lifetime member of the Hibernians and also a very active lifetime member of the Elmira Elks Club #62. He was a founding member of the Five O'clock Club and he cherished his time spent with friends and family and loved to make others laugh. He loved spending his summers on the shores of Seneca Lake, in Hector, NY, where he enjoyed boating, swimming, and reading on the porch.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Hazelle R. Kinney, who stood by his side throughout their adventures together for forty-one years. He is also survived by his son, Adam Kinney (Kasey Kaspar Hildonen), his granddaughter, Louisa Kinney, and his grandson, Nathaniel Kinney, who reside in Loudonville, NY. His daughter, Alexis Kinney (Cory Hallisey), resides in Newark, NY. Bill's sister, Mary (Bill) Cox, of Horseheads, NY, and brother-in-law, Jerry (Rose) Keefe, of Elmira, NY, also survive him. He is further survived by his brother-in-law, Arthur (Nancy) Roberts, of Rochester, NY, and dozens of cousins, nieces, and nephews. He loved his large extended family and their special Thanksgiving tradition.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Marjorie Kinney, as well as his son, John David Kinney. He was also predeceased by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Arthur and Naomi (Fordham) Roberts of Watkins Glen, NY, his sister, Jean Keefe, his brother and sister-in-law, Thomas and Yvonne Kinney, and his nephew, Chris Ripley, all from Elmira, NY.
Bill Kinney will be remembered as a dedicated educator, a successful entrepreneur, and a valued member of the Elmira community. His passion for learning, his cheerful spirit, and his love for his family and friends will forever be cherished. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, determination, and the importance of making a positive impact on the world around us. He was a friend, a mentor, and a father figure to many. Bill will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
A private service will be held in the spring when Bill will be laid to rest at St. Mary's Cemetery in Watkins Glen, overlooking his beloved Seneca Lake. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made to a charity of your choice. Arrangements by McInerny Funeral Home.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of William Kinney, please visit our Tree Store
In Loving Memory
1945 - 2024
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