Melvin Kinney

January 22, 2021


Melvin Kinney, 79, left this earth on January 22, 2021, with his devoted and loving wife by his side. He was the son of Albert and Hattie Kinney and grew up in Camden, New York, with his two brothers, Kenneth and Otis.  Mel loved telling stories about his childhood and could remember every detail as if it had happened just yesterday.  

He spent his career in the retail field starting at the Super Duper in Camden, New York, and then eventually moving to Vermont and working at Martin's, which then became Hannaford, where he retired from after 35 years.

Mel had a myriad of interests with baseball and model trains being at the top of the list.  He loved to go to Lake Monster baseball games with his grandchildren and son-in-law, and in the past would arrange bus trips to Montreal to go see the Expos with friends.   He also had an extensive train collection that always had its own dedicated room no matter where they lived, and he would putter with them for hours.   If you ever needed something at the grocery store, he had the coupon for it.  He could give exact directions to anywhere which came in handy for his retirement years when they drove back and forth to Florida, usually along what he called a scenic route.   He never wanted to go the same way twice.  

While living in Vermont, he would get the neighborhood kids together to play wiffle ball, where he was always the pitcher.  This was how he met his wife, Bella, when she went to meet the person whose yard her youngest son was spending all his time at.  Mel and Bella enjoyed 37 wonderful years of marriage together and were very rarely idle.  They would go to local nursing homes and play music, with Mel on the washboard and Bella on her accordion, and would bring instruments along for the residents to play and participate.  They especially liked to go on Christmas morning and play carols for and with the residents.

He greatly enjoyed bowling on a local team, and as a couple they loved square dancing with the Green Mountain Steppers and camping at the Homestead Campground in Georgia.   At first, they were just weekend campers, but eventually progressed to be seasonals there for many years before retiring and moving to Florida.  There, they could enjoy the winters with no snow and be closer to Disney World, where they were season pass holders and could drive over for an afternoon just to people watch and go on a couple of rides.  While in Florida they became part of the Southfork community and discovered a new group of friends at Southfork who became family, and they were always busy:  they enjoyed "cruising" around in their golf cart, Out-and-Abouts with friends, playing in shuffleboard tournaments, putting puzzles together, and being founding members of the Southfork Jammers.  Throughout all their adventures they made lifelong friends that they're still in touch with to this day.

When Mel married Bella, he also gained four stepchildren who were very blessed to have him in their lives, Tammy Martell, Alan Martell (Victoria), Cheryl Chambers (Gary), and Shawn Martell (Pam), and eventually four grandchildren who were the light of his life, Megan and Michael Chambers and Cooper and Lydia Martell, and two step grandchildren, Lynsea Hensel and Gavin Lizor.   He loved being a Papa and playing games with his grandchildren like Sequence and Court Whist.  His face would light up with a big smile when he was either with his grandkids or relating some story about them to anyone who would listen. 

Mel and Bella eventually returned to Vermont to be closer to family and made some wonderful new friends where they relocated to, as well as taking many trips to Maine and New York to visit family. 

Mel was predeceased by his parents and his first wife, Brenda, and leaves behind his brothers Kenneth (Anne) and Otis (Gayle), his stepchildren and their spouses, his grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, who will all miss him dearly.

Services will be held in the spring or summer when we are able to safely gather. 

The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the UVM Medical Center and Dr. Michael Johnson, of Evergreen Family Health Group, and Essex Rescue for their care and compassion.   

Due to the current circumstances, a Celebration of Life will happen when it is safe to gather together. 

In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest a donation to Essex Rescue, Inc. 1 Educational Drive, Essex Junction, VT  05452.

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