RIP Curt Kinney | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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RIP Curt Kinney

Uploaded: Jun 6, 2014
I just read that Curt Kinney died on June 1st. I was checking out the Council Agenda for the June 10th meeting and under Announcements I saw:

"3.1 Moment of Silence to Honor the Life of Curt Kinney, former San Ramon City Councilmember and Mayor."

I was shocked.

I wasn't a close friend of the Kinneys but I knew Curt when he was Mayor of San Ramon. His wife Jeanne used to read my original San Ramon Observer blogs and occasionally sent me emails and commented on my Commentaries. Curt didn't use the Internet, so Jeanne would pass my comments on to him.

Curt was Mayor in 1999 or 2000 when the office was still rotated. He enjoyed being Mayor and had the word "MAYOR" printed on a tire cover on the back of his jeep. He ran for County Supervisor in 2000 against Donna Gerber who won.

In 2003, when the Mayor's office was changed from a rotated Mayor to elected, Kinney ran against Abram Wilson. Wilson won but Kinney was often critical of Wilson's job as Mayor. I remember seeing him at a gas station in Dublin and he thanked me for one of my commentaries critical of something the Council had done.

I called Jeanne to give her my condolences and find out what happened. For those who don't remember, Curt Kinney was a heavy smoker. Jeanne told me he quit for twelve years, but started up again. I'm not sure when he quit, but he was a smoker when he was on the City Council and that was about 12 years ago.

I recall visiting Curt and Jeanne at their home a long time ago. Jeanne was using an oxygen tank and Curt was still smoking. I thought her health would be in danger from the second hand smoke, but Jeanne said the oxygen was temporary and Curt's smoking didn't bother her.

Jeanne told me that Curt's health had been going downhill for a number of years. His weight dropped to 120 lbs. She got it back up to 142 but it dropped down to 120 again. She said his doctor didn't order a chest x-ray until March of this year, even though he was a smoker.

They changed insurance and Curt went to a different doctor who did order the chest x-ray, but it was inconclusive. He was supposed to have an MRI but that wasn't done either. He finally had a CT Scan and the cancer had spread all the way down into his lungs.

"Poor guy suffered," Jeanne told me. "He fought and fought like a trooper." Curt was always a fighter. He will be missed.

The following is taken from Curt's online Obituary:

"A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon on Monday, June 9th at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow. There will be a viewing on Sunday, June 8th between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. at Wilson & Kratzer, 825 Hartz Way, Danville. Donations may be sent to Hope Hospice, 6377 Clark Avenue, Dublin, CA 94568."

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Bob P, a resident of another community,
on Jun 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

I knew Curt from the the time I moved to San Ramon. He encouraged me to apply for appointment to a committee or commission, and I never looked back. Curt was one of the good guys, except if you were on the wrong side of him. He was a straight shooter, and you never had trouble knowing where Curt stood on an issue.

Curt was committed to his family, his community and his country. He will be missed.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Nice summation, Bob. Yes Curt Kinney was a fighter and a straight shooter. He ruffled some feathers but he called 'em like he saw 'em.

I remember when we were fighting the Sanitary District over the Pump Station and Curt came to a special meeting of the neighborhood wearing his gardening clothes. Some people were offended that he didn't put on a suit and tie, but he didn't want to keep us waiting for him to change clothes.

He wasn't formal, like Abram, who is always perfectly dressed. What a contrast they were in that 2003 election.


Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

I attended the service at St. Joan of Arc Church this morning. I thought there would be a bigger turnout but I recognized a lot of the people there. San Ramon has almost doubled in size and area since Curt Kinney was Mayor, but he helped get this City off to a good start.


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