On Tuesday evening, July 2nd, the world lost a wonderful and unique individual, who was widely loved and admired.
My father, Charles W. Kinnaird, Jr, passed away in his sleep after a short illness.
He learned at an early age that teaching was to be his avocation. This passion for teaching enabled him to reach all of his students from the top of the class to the bottom, all equally well. There were no favorites with him while he was imparting his knowledge – to which I can attest to when I was his student.
His teaching career unfolded in four distinct stages, with the first foray into his chosen profession being in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
While at Keesler Air Force Base he taught English to NATO air traffic controllers from Spain, Italy, France and Germany, thus tapping into his multilingual talents.
After his separation from the service he went back to his alma mater and taught English at West Virginia University for a few years and then moved to New Jersey and set up camp for 35 years.
It was at River Dell Senior High School that he had his biggest impact. He helped devise a unique Humanities Program given to the High School Seniors which enriched 1000’s of student’s lives by exposing them to “The Classics” of art, architecture, music and literature.
His final chapter of lecturing took place in retirement where he became a Ship Board Destination Lecturer on a variety of Cruise Lines. This enabled he and my mother to take a total of 55 cruises – literally around the world.
And 55 does appear to be a magic number, as that is the number of anniversaries he was able to share with the love of his life, Peggy. Their shared interest of teaching and traveling allowed them to have a rewarding and exciting life together.
As his son it is hard to have asked for a better father. In addition to being a loving and caring person, he was supportive in any endeavor that I wished to pursue regardless of how far the request was outside of his comfort zone.
I also recognized with age that he began imparting wisdom upon me early on – probably at birth – thinking that I would follow his advice right then and there; however, in truth the understanding of said knowledge was decades away...if ever.
In addition, as I matured I began to recognize his dry wit and could not help wonder for how long had I been the recipient of a comment at my expense.
I wish to end this salute to my father with a sampling of an interaction I had with him while growing up and is very representative of a “day in the life.”
ME: Dad, I have a test in English class today.
ME: I’m having a hard time using the word “motif” in a sentence.
CWK: He hit me in the mouth and I have no motif...
We will not be having a funeral service for him, as he has already been cremated, but will be having a celebration of life party for him on Monday afternoon at the retirement community where they have resided for the past 20 years.
We are requesting that no flowers be sent, but should you wish, you could make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans – a charity that he actively supported throughout his life: DAV Charitable Service Trust
|Peggy Charlie and Cedar's Sister
Cedar's Cousin Chuck resides in Chicago where he owns a sailing "yacht" and enjoys the Chicago Cubs. Chuck is more formally:
Dr. Charles Kinnaird
Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology University of Illinois College of Medicine Department of OphthalmologyAssistant Chief, Optometry Section at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and Associate Professor at the Illinois College of Optometry, while also serving as a member of the Optometry Department attending staff at the Mile Square Health Center.
He teaches and lectures on ophthalmology.