SPRUCE HEAD - Eleanor Jackson Kinney, 77, was called home early, January 29, 2019, after completing her epic battle with cancer. She was born April 16, 1941, to Mary Payson Joy and Parker Jackson at their South Thomaston home.
Eleanor - Ellie May to her friends and family - grew up in South Thomaston and attended village schools in Spruce Head and South Thomaston as well as Rockland High School. She spent her childhood mischief- and merry-making with her sisters and lifelong friend Sandra Sleeper Zimmermann in the Keag. Her first encounter with her beloved husband Arnold “Buzzy” Kinney was at the sheep pasture by the Spruce Head Village School. They married on September 14, 1957.
A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Eleanor always strove to meet family needs and wants. Even as a young woman, she tirelessly picked and sold boxes of crabmeat to make her children’s lives more comfortable. With time, she shrugged off the expectations of her day and courageously stepped into the business world. She owned and operated two antique shops: Pick and Paw and Birds of a Feather. She also became a locally renowned realtor and cultivated the successful E. Kinney Coastal Realty on Park Street in Rockland.
Eleanor and Buzzy lived full lives in Spruce Head and on Criehaven, where he was a lobsterman. Their children and grandchildren loved the coastal and island life that Eleanor and Buzzy provided for them. They especially enjoyed searching for sea glass, cooking periwinkles and crabs on the beach, and crafting driftwood “eye-dee-peepers.”
Eleanor was a faithful Christian and a model member of Spruce Head Community Church. She generously gave herself to her community, Sunday School, and Pioneer Girls. Although her life was marked by family tragedies and loss, she poured herself into her faith and endless gardens. Her flowers provided beauty and peace for herself and the community alike. Eleanor loved to bask in the sun, whether from the bow of their family lobster boat, the backyard, or her retirement respite in Florida. Eleanor was most at home in Maine, but she also adored traveling, embarking on memorable trips in Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Eleanor was predeceased by her children Kimberly Jo Kinney and Kriston Arnold Kinney and by her grandchildren Hannah Jo Niles and Kriston Andrew Kinney. She was also predeceased by her parents and her much-loved in-laws Austin and Louise Kinney.
She is survived by her steadfast husband of 61 years, Buzzy; daughters Katrina Kinney Niles (married to Rodney Niles) and Kelli Jo Kinney (partnered to Lyle Morris); sisters Shirley Anderson, Marie “Belle” White, Sandra Mank (married to Gordon Mank); brother-in-law Sumner Kinney (married to Marjorie Kinney) and sister-in-law Judy Kinney; step-mother Jane Jackson; grandchildren Hayli Hu Kinney (married to Ophelia Hu Kinney), Jackson Samuel Kinney, Nicholas Widdecombe, Lydia Niles Garland (married to Ryan Garland), and Abigail Niles; great-granddaughter Kara Crie Kinney; step-grandchildren Ahlivia and Hunter Morris; many beloved nieces and nephews; a cherished church family; and countless irreplaceable friends.
Visiting hours will be held from 4:00-6:00pm, Saturday, February 9, 2019, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland, where Eleanor’s life will be remembered and celebrated at 2:00pm, Sunday, February 10, 2019. Interment will be a private family ceremony at Ocean View Cemetery, South Thomaston. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, Development Office, MMC, 22 Bramhall Street, Portland, ME 04102, or the Spruce Head Community Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 18, Spruce Head, ME 04859.