"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."