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William R. Kinzie
October 21, 1929 ~ August 31, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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William R. Kinzie flew from his mortal bonds on August 30, enveloped in the love and gratitude of his family and lit on his way by the blue supermoon. Born in his mother Verna Mae Kinzie’s bed to Nick Lucas’ Tiptoe Through the Tulips with Me humming on the radio, he died in his own bed in Barbours, PA, to the sounds of his grandson’s ethereal music.
A shyly joyful, daringly humorous follower of God, Bill made sure that everyone who met him felt seen and everyone who spoke to him felt heard. As a teacher and pastor, he allowed the hard questions and answered them with kindness and grace. Though he was an accomplished pastor, missionary, teacher, writer, and guide, he was uncomfortable being known as Revered Kinzie and preferred being called Bill. In spite of his success in life, he consistently turned all praise to God, taking none for himself, and instead, focusing on 1 Corinthians13, the love chapter, and Galatians 5:22-23: … love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Bill Kinzie received his first undergraduate degree in Ceramic Engineering from Penn State University and his second in Divinity from Drew Seminary. He held a Master of Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a diploma in Missionary Studies from Moody Bible Institute. In his work as a spiritual guide and minister, he helped found and organize a bible college in Saffle, Sweden, where he taught for over ten years; pastored Memorial Baptist Church in Newberry, PA; served as a District Superintendent for the Evangelical Free Church in Texas; and dedicated himself as a loving, full-time caregiver to his wife while she struggled with Parkinson’s Disease.
His love for his his family, friends, and fellow humans was always abundant. Anyone who knew him or sought his wise counsel was inspired by his kindness and his gentle acceptance of people where they were. In his last years, he was especially concerned for the future of our natural world, contributing generously to environmental organizations, as well as Christian charities, and the local food bank.
He was met in glory by his adored wife, partner, and true heart’s friend, Ruth Evelyn Kinzie; his first-born child, John William Kinzie; his mother, Verna Mae (Slingwine) Kinzie; and his sisters, Harvena Keck and Ruth Burchill. He is survived by his sister, Doris Puckett Martin; his daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Steve Kinzie Bastian; his son and daughter-in-law, Joshua and Esther Kinzie; his grandchildren, Kristian Camero, Tucker Bastian, Lissette Kinzie; and his great-granddaughter, Aurelia. There is a large crowd both on earth and in heaven rejoicing at his homecoming.
To learn more about the specifics of this very special person’s ministry, look for his autobiography, The Zig Zag Path, widely available online. A life-tribute service will be held in San Antonio, TX, on October 16, and an open house memorial is planned at his final home in Barbours, PA October 29 from 2 to 5 PM