Obituary: Kinzer, William J.
February 1, 2012 - Updated: February 9, 12:40 p.m.
KINZER, William J.
William “Bill” Kinzer, a.k.a. “Jay” Kinzer, “Bill Jay,” and “Papa Bill” passed from us January 29, 2012. Bill was preceded in death by his parents William Ira and Mildred Kinzer, his brother Kenneth Kinzer, sister Iris Casebeer, and his beloved wife Ellen Raftis Kinzer. Bill is survived by his children, son Kevin Kinzer, daughters Lisa (Chris) Weber, Bridget (Geoff) Webster, Karen (Doug) Byrd, Mary (Joe) Doohan of Spokane, and Sarah Kinzer and her husband Bill Murphy of Denver. He was fiercely proud of his children and his 16 grandchildren, the lights of his life. He attended countless sports and school events to cheer and show his support. Bill also has numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He loved them all and the feeling was mutual. Born October 1925 in Williston, ND, Bill grew up there and was a proud graduate of Williston HS Class of ‘43. After high school, he served two years in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Cl. Bill attended Union College two years, Gonzaga for one year, and was graduated from the UW in 1950. Moving to Spokane with his folks, he met his beautiful wife Ellen here and married her in 1956. He owned and managed his own employment agency, Able Personnel Service from 1964 until his health no longer permitted it in 2010, and helped thousands of people in this city and region find employment. The Washington State Employment Advisory Board selected him to serve on it for several years. A 50+ year member of his cherished Spokane Central Lions Club, they had few more active Lions than him. Bill/Jay served as Club Pres. in ‘81-82 and Zone Chairman in ‘82-83. He usually led the Club in fundraising during White Cane Days, bringing in many large jars of donated money from generous citizens he accosted on the streets of Spokane, for the benefit of the Lions’ Eye Bank. The Lions gave him their highest honor, the Melvin Jones Fellowship. A loyal fan and long-time season ticket holder of the Zags, he traveled to WCC Tourney games for years. Bill/Jay was a people person and enjoyed socializing. Other hobbies included pinochle, growing flowers, esp. dahlias, comparison shopping, and battling walnut-thieving squirrels. Bill and his family wish to express deep gratitude to Manor Care, Dr. Leroy Byrd, and all of our supportive family and friends. Visitation will be at Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N. Government Way, Thursday, February 2 and Friday, February 3 from noon to 5pm both days. A Memorial Celebration of his life will be held Saturday, February 4 at 1pm at the Heritage Funeral Home chapel, 508 N. Government Way. Committal service will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, and he did love flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Spokane Central Lions Activities Foundation.