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Memories & Candles

“I'm awed reading all these messages and trying to fathom the impact Jean had on my life, but multiplied by thousands of people over the span of a...Read More »
1 of 24 | Posted by: Humanist

“Jeanne had a tremendous impact on my life in the brief time I knew her. In 1995, she delivered a speech as the faculty senate chair during...Read More »
2 of 24 | Posted by: Gregg Browngoetz

“Jeanne had a tremendous impact on my life in the brief time I knew her. In 1995, she delivered a speech as the faculty senate chair during...Read More »
3 of 24 | Posted by: Gregg Browngoetz

“My sincere condolences to the family of Jean L. Kinnear – I am sorry to hear of your loss. It was never the Creatorâ€&...Read More »
4 of 24 | Posted by: J Johnson

“Jean was a force of nature - I'm lucky to have known her.- Laura Thurman ”
5 of 24 | Posted by: Laura Thurman

“Jean always was gracious & took time to chat with people. Jean, was indeed, a GEM in the world of nature. I admired her as she was herself. ...Read More »
6 of 24 | Posted by: Janice Hampton

“I did think that Joanna and Jean were the best couple and I did so enjoy our visits together. Joanna is a very favorite cousin of mine and Jean was...Read More »
7 of 24 | Posted by: Helen Farnsworth

“I am so glad I got to meet and know Jean. She so enriched our lives and such a joy to talk with. She taught me to enjoy life and nature to its...Read More »
8 of 24 | Posted by: Rhonda

“I always loved Jean. The most memorable and special professor at NMU. She taught me so much about the outdoors, paddling and of course, interp.......Read More »
9 of 24 | Posted by: Susan Brian

“I think I will collect some milkweed pods and plant them next spring for Jean, Joannah, the whole Interp family that was touched and inspired by a...Read More »
10 of 24 | Posted by: Francie Krawcke

“I so appreciated Jean's friendship, her coaching and gentle but constructive criticism, her love of and respect for Joanna, her fondness for cats,...Read More »
11 of 24 | Posted by: Ginger A Murphy

“Until we meet again my friend! Thank you for enriching my life as you did so many before and after me! The world will miss you, but is so much...Read More »
12 of 24 | Posted by: Peter James Flynn Stobie

“Words can not express the impact the Jean had on me at NMU!! I would not be the person I am today with out her guidance, patience, high expectations...Read More »
13 of 24 | Posted by: Kris Johson

“Always a smile, Always a compliment. Always happy to see you. Loved sharing out her programs, her school, her students, her involement in NAI. ...Read More »
14 of 24 | Posted by: Fred Wooley

“It is a sad day. Jean Kinnear was an inspiration. She was an amazing lady. The outdoor recreation world has lost a great person. I was a student...Read More »
15 of 24 | Posted by: shane french

“Jean will be missed by so many--friends, and former faculty, staff, and students at NMU. I enjoyed Jean so much--her humor, her positiveness, and...Read More »
16 of 24 | Posted by: Janis Book

“Jean was always so caring, kind, smart, and wonderful. My heart and prayers go out to you Joanna. She will be missed. ”
17 of 24 | Posted by: Mary Etchison

“Jean was wonderful. She will be missed. Both Ed and I enjoyed working with her at NMU ‘back in the day’. She...Read More »
18 of 24 | Posted by: Ed and Sara Niemi

“Many years ago I sat in your class for the first time a timid college freshman and I hadn't a clue where to begin my life's journey. In the first few...Read More »
19 of 24 | Posted by: Jamie

“Dr. Kinnear will be remembered for her many contributions and professionalism. It was an honor to call her a colleague. My prayers and sympathy to...Read More »
20 of 24 | Posted by: Jane Milkie

“I think I speak for many of Jean's former students when I say that she was one of the greatest teachers and mentors I've ever had. She was, and...Read More »
21 of 24 | Posted by: Jenny Hampton

“Farewell Jean, I cry for all of us left behind. You will be missed. ”
22 of 24 | Posted by: Krista

“Farewell to a most generous and loyal friend. Your "the glass is half full" approach to life, especially in the past few years, is a lesson I'll...Read More »
23 of 24 | Posted by: Lise Schools

“Jean was such a wonderful and thoughtful person. I will miss you. I'm so glad I had the privilege of knowing you and creating all those memories...Read More »
24 of 24 | Posted by: Elizabeth Benam - Eagle, CO


Jean L. Kinnear, 68, died quietly on Wednesday morning, September 17, 2014 of multiple myeloma at home in Marquette in the care of her partner, friends, and Lake Superior Hospice. Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia April 26, 1946, daughter of Horace and Frances (Davis) Kinnear, she grew up on the family farm near Lexington. Her legacy there is a Virginia Outdoors Foundation Conservation Easement to preserve this land forever undivided as farm and forest. Jean is survived by life partner Joanna Mitchell, mother Frances D. Kinnear of Harrisonburg, VA, sister Sarah M. Kinnear of Alexandria, VA, dear friends, and many students at NMU and Penn State. She earned a B.S. in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Recreation and Parks from Pennsylvania State University with minors in biology and water quality, respectively. As a professor at the Northern Michigan University for 30 years, Jean was the founder of the outdoor recreation curriculum, later the Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management major, and created many courses in that curriculum. While at NMU, she chaired the Academic Senate, served on many committees and retired with emeritus status. She received the Julian Smith Award (MAOEE) for lifetime achievement in outdoor education in 2008. Flatwater and FreeStyle canoeing, rowing, canoeing instruction and history were lifelong pursuits. As an long time American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer in flatwater canoeing and earlier as an American Red Cross Small Craft Instructor in rowing and canoeing, Jean is the recipient of The Quiet Water Society's 2014 Verlen Kruger Award. For the National Association for Interpretation, Jean served both regionally and nationally as a member, office holder, committee chair and workshop organizer. She received NAI awards including NAI Fellow 2008, two time National Meritorious Service Award, Distinguished Professional Interpreter, and Regional Meritorious Service Award. Locally, Jean was a founder of the Hiawatha Interpretive Association (Hiawatha National Forest) serving as member and secretary many years. She was a contributor to the Marquette Monthly "In the Outdoors" column in its early years, Executive Board member of the Marquette Maritime Museum in its formative years and served on the Marquette Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. She enjoyed farming, reading, hand tools, Packers football, and seeing what's around the corner, over the hill and through the door. Jean wished to gratefully acknowledge the wisdom and compassion of the oncology physicians and staff at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the MGH Hematology and Oncology office. You can honor Jean's memory by sitting in a quiet spot in nature, free of distractions and let it speak to you. Contributions are invited to the Canadian Canoe Museum, the Peter White Public Library, WNMU-TV or WNMU-FM, the LiveSTRONG Foundation or The Nature Conservancy. Jean often quoted from a letter by Rachel Carson, "For the Monarch, that [life] cycle is measured in a known span of months. For ourselves, the measure is something else, the span of which we cannot know. But the thought is the same: when that intangible cycle has run its course it is a natural and no unhappy thing that a life comes to an end." An outdoor celebration of Jean's life will be held Sunday, October 12th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at her cabin on the Sand River. An informal service with Rev. Ben Bohnsack leading will begin at 1:30 p.m. with fellowship and food to follow. Burial will take place in the Park Cemetery. The cabin is located on M-28 eleven miles east of the US41/M28 intersection Harvey. The drive is marked by a sign labeled "Bohnsack", and signs for the Alger/Marquette County and Onota/Chocolay Township lines. The nearest address is 3140 M-28 East. The driveway is a forest road shared with four other houses and you need to go to the end. The log cabin is the last left turn. Please carpool and park in the woods along the drive and the neighbors' driveways allowing room for other cars to pass. Everything will be outdoors without seating provided, so bring a lawn chair or crazy creek, if you wish, and dress according to the weather. The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting Jean's family with arrangements where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com

Funeral Home
Canale-Tonella Funeral Home Inc
526 N. Third Street Marquette, MI 49855
Tel. (906) 226-2711
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