Proud To Be A Kinzie

“Grandpa” Willard Kinzie, 95 years young! First Mayor of Barrie Ontario


My husband, Joel, and I just returned home from a remarkable trip.  Grandpa Kinzie was turning 95 and he wanted us all to be there with him in Barrie, Ontario. There was to be an open house and a family dinner and much catching up. We enjoyed ourselves so much I think we would have stayed far longer if we could have.

Willard Kinzie, Joel’s paternal Grandfather is an incredible man. He’s self-made in the truest sense of the word. He’s caring. He’s always willing to share stories and advice. And more than anything, Grandpa Kinzie values the love and company of family.

What we were given by Grandpa Kinzie this trip was the best gift ever. We connected with Joel’s cousins, relatives we’d never met and friends of the Kinzie family. There were some fantastic people at the open house, including the current Mayor of Barrie.

Willard Kinzie (Mayor 1957-1961) with Jeff Lehman (2010 to present) at the open house
Willard Kinzie (Mayor 1957-1961) with Jeff Lehman (2010 to present) at the open house

There were curling friends. There were distant cousins and relatives of Nana Kinzie whom we lost recently. Some of the people in attendance were folks who had been on numerous hikes with Grandpa Kinzie when he was still leading expeditions (and he’s been on many).

The open house was wonderful.

Late in the day we had a private family dinner. There was a chance for us all to tell little stories about Grandpa Kinzie and many of them filled the room with laughter. Great stories about a great man.

Family IS important. All us cousins? We decided that we’re going to continue to stay in touch. Perhaps, that was always Grandpa Kinzie’s plan. I’m proud to be a Kinzie.

One reply to “Proud To Be A Kinzie

  1. Just shared this with your Grandpa. Willard was really touched as was I. He is so proud to have you as part of the Kinzie family. Karen

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