Florence Irene Kinney
August 20, 1916 ~ December 20, 2013
Florence Irene Kinney, age 97, of Elma, IA passed away Friday, December 20, 2013 at Colonial Manor in Elma. Florence Irene (Pollock) Kinney was born to Ray I. and Annetta (Hepner) Pollock in Nora Springs, Iowa on August 20, 1916. Florence had an older brother, two younger brothers and a younger sister. When Florence was three and a half years old the family moved to a farm northwest of Elma. The summer after she graduated from high school Florence enrolled at Iowa State Teachers College (now known as University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls. She began her teaching career that fall. She taught in the Afton 5 and 6 country schools before she was united in marriage to Matt Kinney. She and Matt were parents of six children: Carol, James, Mary Lou, June, Patty and Linda. They lived on the Kinney home place two and a half miles west of Elma their entire married life. In 1955, Florence was able to go back to teaching. This started a long series of night classes and getting up at four o’clock in the morning to make the trip to Fayette, Iowa for summer classes. Florence received her BS degree in 1970 from Upper Iowa University. The return to teaching started in two different country schools and continued in two nearby communities, Riceville and Alta Vista. She taught 5th grade in the Elma Public School the final eleven years of her teaching career. Florence was known as a diligent student throughout her elementary and high school years. She often related that she decided to become a teacher in eighth grade due to the influence of her teacher, Amanda Boderman. She knew early in her life that a teaching career would fulfill her strong interests in human development and give her the joy of working with children. She took a deep personal interest in her students, always looking to bring out the best in each one and engaging their families in their education. She took great pride in hearing about the successes of her former students. She thoroughly enjoyed running into them in town and sharing laughs about her disciplinary methods and hearing how much of a positive difference she had made in their lives. When Matt passed away in June 1989, Florence stayed on the farm for another 18 years taking care of the house and farmland. She planted a large vegetable garden each spring, always experimenting with new growing and watering techniques. She preserved large quantities of vegetables and fruits to be enjoyed by her children and grandchildren. As Florence began to decline physically, ever practical and realistic, she made the decision herself to move to Colonial Manor in November 2007. She made the transition with her usual grace and positive attitude, often expressing her gratitude and admiration for the staff there. She was a long-time member of the Tomorrow Club and the Friends and Neighbors Club. Florence loved her local community and was known as a loyal friend to many neighbors and teacher colleagues. She took great pleasure in the visits of her children and grandchildren to the farm, cooking their favorite dishes and keeping close track of their activities and successes. They would all agree that despite her relentless work ethic she could always laugh at herself and enjoy moments of fun. She is survived by her 5 daughters: Carol (Square) Pritchett, Rogers, Arkansas; Mary Lou (Harlan) Hansen, Goodland, Minnesota; June (Jim Spady), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Patty (John) Wilson, Iowa City, Iowa; Linda (Dave) Menees, LeClaire, Iowa; her daughter-in-law Joan Kinney, Vermillion, South Dakota; her brother Lawrence Pollock of Hemet, California; her sister Harriet Duran of Tampa, Florida, 19 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband, Mathias J. Kinney of Elma, Iowa; her son, James R. Kinney of Vermillion, South Dakota; her parents, Ray and Annetta Pollock of Osage, Iowa; two brothers, Tom Pollock and his wife Colleen of Northwood, Iowa; and Howard Pollock and his wife Lucille of Portland, Oregon. ** Please note that on Friday the Scriptural Wake Service will open with the song "No More Night" by grandson Andrew Menees with fiance Natalie. There will be scriptures, a memorial reading, and an opening for sharing memories and thoughts about Florence. At the end will be the hymn "I'd Rather Have Jesus" by grandson Jeremy Menees.