Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Obituary - Ida Marie (Bell) Kinnick

Sunday Obituary
Ida Marie (Bell) Kinnick Obituary
13 Mar 1918 - 6 Jan 2015 (Age 96)


[Ida Marie was my aunt; wife of Leo, my mother’s older brother]

Ida Marie Kinnick, age 96, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. She was born in Coon Rapids, Iowa, to Warren Raymond and Zula Agnes (Patrick) Bell, and was next to youngest of their six children: Opal, Irl, Lucille, Dorothy, Ida Marie and June.

Soon after graduating from high school, she married the love of her life, Leo Millard Kinnick, on Oct. 17, 1937, which led to them celebrating their 77th wedding anniversary just a short time ago — a milestone few couples ever reach. During this time, she lived in the Iowa towns of Coon Rapids, Rolfe, Lohrville, Fort Dodge, Lenox and Pella, as well as 20 years in Tucson, Arizona. 

Ida Marie's first jobs were as a farm girl, helping her family with the dairy farm, but also raising pigs and chickens. Like a lot of farm kids, Ida Marie learned to drive the pickup early, and long before getting a license, she drove the pickup for delivering milk in Coon Rapids, while her younger sister June delivered it to the doorsteps. After finishing high school, she took what was called "normal training" to be a teacher, and taught "all subjects" in two different country schools outside Coon Rapids — one term in Oakhill, and a second term in STAR School.

Marrying Leo Kinnick in 1937, they started their 77-year trek together on an 80-acre farm outside Coon Rapids. But she rode to town with her father-in-law each morning where she worked in the Jack Spratt grocery store. The next year Ida Marie and Leo followed her parents to their new dairy farm in the Bradgate/Rolfe area, to help with the milk cows and the 100-acre farm.  It was here that she started her dream job, combining life as a mother as well as a wife. Their first daughter, Karen, was born on the Bradgate/Rolfe farm.

About a year and a half later Ida Marie and Leo returned to Coon Rapids with baby Karen, where they ran a little hamburger cafe for about 6 months — living upstairs from the cafe. Ida Marie waited counter and served the food, and left Leo to fry the hamburgers and prepare the food. They sold a hamburger for 5 cents at that time! 

The next year Ida Marie and family moved to Lohrville, Iowa, where husband Leo had taken a job in the bank, and she dedicated herself to motherhood, adding three more children, Kathleen, Kelton, and Karla to the family over the next 10 years.  One of Ida Marie's main priorities was seeing that all her children got many of the chances in life that she didn't. She ensured that all four learned to swim, got music and dance lessons, and tried whatever sports interested them. And though it was long before "soccer moms" were ever heard of, she drove the kids to their activities stretching 30 to 50 miles in all directions from their home in Lohrville.  Ida Marie was also an accomplished seamstress — making many of the clothes for all four kids, all the way through their high school and college years, including formal dresses for the daughters and sport coats for her son. She made dance costumes by the dozens, as well as outfits for all the majorettes in the high school marching band. And the sewing continued for many of her grandkids as well — pretty much a life long passion.

In Ida Marie's early years in Lohrville, she was active in Methodist church support functions. But an early passion developed when good friends invited her and Leo, and several other couples, out to their farm to try square dancing!  Ida Marie was really skeptical of dancing in an old chicken coop, even though it had been cleaned out, but Leo convinced her to give it a try.  It was "spic and span clean", and they continued to allemande left, do-si-do and promenade for many more years. Another long term activity was helping with all the school activities for her kids, especially the band boosters — serving up thousands of maid rite sandwiches at the football games. When she and Leo moved to Lenox after the kids were grown and gone, the two of them took up bowling for the first time, joined a local league, and remained avid bowlers for several years — all to the amazement of their four children!

Ida Marie is survived by her husband Leo, her younger sister June Patrick, her brother-in-law August Edward (Buzz) Kinnick and his wife Colleen, her children Karen, Kathleen, Kelton and Karla, son-in-law Ken Lucas, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Obituary courtesy of Garden Chapel Funeral Homes, Pella, Iowa


  1. I am so sorry for your loss Dr Bill. May the Lord comfort your and her family.