Frank Lawrence Kinney

Frank L. Kinney, of Chatfield, MN died Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at Chosen Valley Care Center just shy of his 100th birthday.


Frank L. Kinney, of Chatfield, MN died Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at Chosen Valley Care Center just shy of his 100th birthday.

Frank was born Jan. 21,1920, to Elisha and Ethel (Upham) Kinney in Plainfield, MA. In 1945 he married June Harding who passed away in 1992. In 1993 he married Betty Berse who passed away in 2014.

In 1938, Frank joined the Navy ‘to see the world’. He served aboard the USS Wasp and the USS Princeton and survived the sinking of both carriers while serving in the Pacific during WWII. After seven years of service, he was honorably discharged as Machinist Mate First Class.

As a WWll Veteran, he deeply cared about our country and was determined to preserve the history of this era. Over the years, Frank readily engaged in public speaking, interviews, and conversations with family and friends. As he reflected on the war and postwar years, history came to life. The stories were funny, painful, and poignant. They lifted us up and served as a reminder to honor family and country.

Frank was a graduate of Washington State University and was employed by American Breeders Service from 1954 – 1982. He retired as District Regional Sales Manager in Minnesota. Following retirement, he kept in touch with local farmers and their families just to see how things were going, plus enjoy coffee and a treat.

Frank loved to read and travel. Each year, he would load up the family, camping gear, fishing poles, and a cooler full of sandwiches. His love of the open road, scenic views, and visits with family and friends across the USA is a precious legacy.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church, the Chatfield Lutheran Church, American Legion Post 197, VFW Post 6913, and Lions Club. In observance of Memorial Day, Frank and Betty placed flags in local cemeteries to honor fallen Veterans.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents, a brother-in-law, a nephew, and a niece.

Survivors include four sons, Dale Kinney of Brownsdale, Ronald (Pat) Hill of Chatfield, Gerald (Jenny) Hill of Cedar Rapids IA, and John Berse of Wabasha. Five daughters include Joanne (Kinney) Polk of Chatfield, Cynthia (Lee) Hertramph of Monona IA, Denise Wendt (Tom Buckingham) of Casa Grande AZ, Jane (Jerry) Moen of Winona, Teddie Neis of Strawberry Point IA, brother, Herb (Betsie) Kinney of Eugene OR, sister, Sylvia Meikle of Fowler OH, and two nieces.

The two marriages blessed Frank with a total of twenty grandchildren: Jeff (Katie) Polk, Jordan Polk, Bob (Terri) Hill, Debbie (Randy) Ristau, Rubianne (Matt) St. Mane, Judd (Cindy) Hill, Stacey (Gerald) Slessor, Missey (Allen) Klein, Darcey (Dan) Martin, Heidi (Nick) Imker, Julie (Bruce) Kintzle, Kathleen (Roger) Shaw, Eric (Suzanne) Neis, Tammy (Chris) Armbrust, Norman (Monica) Wendt, Cheryl (John) Otto, Erika (Jim) Januschka, Erin (Curt) Hopkins, Ben Berse, Blake (Sara) Berse. Forty great-grandchildren and twelve great-great-grandchildren round out the family.

Visitation will be held at the Chatfield Lutheran Church on Saturday, January 18th from 10 to 11 AM, followed by a Memorial Service with Pastor Mark Docken officiating. A spring burial will be held for family at the Chatfield Cemetery in Chatfield.

To send flowers to Frank’s family, please visit our floral section.