Addie Jean Kinsinger, of Scottsdale, Arizona, passed away on April 19, 2019 after a long period in hospice care. She was 93 and lived a long and rich life. She had been a resident of Arizona since 1982.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 18, 1925, the third of six siblings, to Bertram and Gladys Parker, Addie often spoke of her fond memories of swimming in Lake Erie in the summers and of becoming a huge fan of a young Frank Sinatra, seeing him perform live in downtown Cleveland several times. Like others in the “greatest generation,” she grew up in the shadow of the great depression and World War II, during which she worked in an ammunition plant helping to punch out artillery shells. She was the first of her family to attend college, entering nearby Hiram College in 1944, where she began her lifelong love of learning and developed what would turn out to be her professional path in education. It was at Hiram that she met her husband, Jack, who started there upon returning from service with the Army Air Force.
Fresh out of college, Addie taught school in upstate New York while Jack pursued his master’s degree at Cornell, and then she helped run local youth group activities in the Philadelphia suburbs as Jack finished his Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania. Addie and Jack also started their family, first with son Paul, and three years later with their daughter, Amy.
In the late 1950’s, the family moved to Michigan and Addie began a twenty-five-year period juggling the competing demands of raising children and caring for a home while returning fulltime to the workforce as a professional librarian and instructional materials designer in the Okemos School System outside of Lansing, Michigan. Later, while still working fulltime, she earned her masters’ degree in Library Science at Western Michigan University in the evenings, and then ran a school library system in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
She also began a long period of involvement in professional organizations, first with the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators, (MAME) and later with the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), as an early proponent of the role of technology on how education was developed and transmitted. Addie would become president of AECT in 1993-1994;
later, she helped to run its Foundation for many years and was instrumental both in its mentoring program and in helping to extend its international reach. She was an Emeritus Trustee until her passing.
In 1982, Addie and Jack moved to Arizona where Addie worked with Arizona State University’s PBS station KAET, managing its state-wide educational technology outreach and volunteering on pledge nights. Addie saw much of Arizona, visiting several local school systems in Arizona to help them adapt learning technology to their curricula. She retired in 1990.
Addie loved to travel, something she shared with Jack and instilled in her children. She and Jack were keen outdoors adventurers early in their marriage, even portaging a canoe during forays into northern Ontario. Later on, the family packed up the station wagon and took several memorable multi-week camping trips to most of the national parks in the US and Canada. In 1963, the family got to be part of the end of a travel era when they boarded an ocean liner in New York City and crossed the North Atlantic to and from The Netherlands, where they lived for a year while Jack conducted research on sabbatical leave. During that year, the family using extended weekends and holidays to travel through much of Europe, and even got to the 1964 Winter Olympics in Austria. Addie would visit Europe several more times during her life, including eastern Europe during the Cold War, and lived in Paris briefly while Jack was on another sabbatical. Later on, Addie would turn her sights to Australia and Asia, and she and Jack were early visitors to China in the 1980’s. Overall, Addie had visited every state in the US, most of Canada’s provinces, and another few dozen countries outside the US.
Addie always enjoyed reading all her life. Her nose was never far from a book or two, and she always made a point to gift her grandchildren with a new book every Christmas. She also enjoyed movies and was a lifelong fan of fellow Ohioan Paul Newman. Addie loved a wide range of music, from the classics and the big band-crooner era she grew up with, to jazz, pop, Broadway, and even some rock n roll in her later years. She also loved to swim, from her early days in Lake Erie, to many trips to various oceans, to her pools at homes in Michigan and Arizona where she frequently lived in her bathing suit.
She loved being a mother and a grandmother, both to those in her own family and to others who occasionally needed it. She paid special attention to urging the next generations in her family to complete their higher education degrees. She touched many people over her life and exuded charm and caring as a mother and a professional career leader.
Addie is survived by one sister, Janet Merz, of Houston, Texas, her son, Paul Kinsinger and his wife Karen Walch and step-grandson, Robert Walch, of Phoenix, her daughter, Amy Marshall, of Scottsdale, three grandchildren, Brooke Marshall, of Scottsdale, and David Kowaleski, Kate Maxwell and her husband, Bryon, all of Phoenix, three great grandchildren, Landon Kaats, Logan Kaats, and Berlin Kaats, all of Scottsdale, as well as her former husband, Jack Kinsinger, of Scottsdale.
Any donations can be made in her name to Hiram College or to AECT.Print Obituary & Condolences