Anne Kinnel, 80, passed away February 14 after two bouts with cancer and a brief stay in hospice.
Anne was born Anne Elizabeth Lutton in Cincinnati, Ohio, to beloved parents, Virginia and Edwin. She was the oldest of four siblings and was dubbed Powerful Katrinka by her father after shoveling a ton of coal into the furnace hopper at the age of 8. Anne went to Walnut Hills High School where she excelled academically.
Anne enrolled in Radcliffe College where she became a chemistry major and met Robin Kinnel, the love of her life, across a lab bench. The chemistry was obvious, and along with other forms of flirting, pebble tossing was part of their courtship. After graduation, she earned a master’s degree in teaching from Radcliffe and married Robin in 1960. Anne subsequently taught eighth-grade math in Natick, Massachusetts, for several years.
After a two-year stint for Robin’s post-doc in Palo Alto, California, Anne and Robin moved to Clinton where he had taken a job as chemistry professor at Hamilton. Early on, Anne concentrated on raising sons Tim and Geoff, although she found time for various crafts, exploring the Root Glen, and taking on the duties of president of the Kirkland Art Center.
In 1973, Anne started teaching chemistry at Clinton Central School, the job that would make her indelible mark on the community. Until retirement in 1996, Anne taught Regent’s chemistry, forming young minds and guiding them in the ways of science. Numerous students came back to her after their first classes in college and told her, “After your class, it was easy.” In 2011, she was inducted into the Clinton Central School District Hall of Distinction.
Given her profound love of education, it’s no small surprise that she (and Robin) became deeply involved with Clinton A Better Chance, serving as board president and tag sale chair.
In 1981, Anne and Robin went to Hawaii for Robin’s sabbatical, an experience that would engender a life-long fascination with its geology, culture, and crafts, including Hawaiian quilts. During subsequent sabbaticals there, Anne was variously a chemistry teacher at Iolani School and sales clerk at Kaimuki Dry Goods (access to fabric!).
Anne’s love of quilting would come to define the later years of her life. She made quilts large and small for friends and family as they celebrated various milestones in life; Anne also created artistic wall hangings and numerous pot holders. She was an active member of the Mohawk Valley Quilt Guild, the Mohawk Trail Artisans, and Foothills Weaving and Fiber Arts Guild. She attended Quilting by the Lake in Morrisville several times, and went to numerous quilt shows around the East.
Along the way, Anne engaged in various other hobbies and activities: gardening, tennis, cooking, crosswords and other word puzzles, knitting, and needlepoint, and volunteering in the surgical waiting room and the medical staff office at St. Luke’s Hospital.
Anne is survived by husband Robin; son Tim (Cambridge, MA); son Geoff and his wife Laura (Newtown, Bucks County, PA); grandchildren Brennan, Claire, and Eva; siblings Joan Taylor and partner Allan Daniel (Welwyn Garden City, England); Helen Cohen and husband Don (Lexington, MA); and brother Lew Lutton and wife Jill (Poinciana, FL); and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
All are invited to memorial calling hours (TODAY) Friday, February 16, 2018, from 5-7pm at Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service, Inc., 35 College St., Clinton. A memorial service will be held at the Hamilton College chapel at a later date.
Please consider donations in Anne’s memory to the American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org) or the Root Glen (https://www.hamilton.edu/arboretum/root-glen/root-glen-history).
The family is grateful to the staff at St. Luke’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Siegenthaler Center for their care and compassion.