ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, John Kinney, 69 years old, born on November 12, 1951, and passed away on March 11, 2021. We will remember him forever.

There will be a memorial for John in June, 2021.   Details to follow.   Stay tuned.
Posted by Bob Brandt on April 11, 2021
It was my good fortune to meet John back in the 10th grade in band and orchestra. He was an outstanding musician and a true gentleman, then, and throughout his life. I recall his reliable and sonorous sound in many school concerts and subsequent outside performances. Years later we would often run into each other while grocery shopping at the Diamond Heights Safeway. It was always a pleasure to stop and talk with him, not only about music but about many aspects of life. Great memories - thank you, John.
Posted by Ken Crawford on April 5, 2021
John was a thorough gentleman.
Posted by Russ Button on April 4, 2021
I first met John in 7th grade at James Lick Junior High School.  We called them "Junior High Schools" back then, not "Middle Schools." We were in math class together when the math teacher pulled a tuft of hair out of my head one time when I got out of line. John never let me forget that.

John and I have played together in various groups ever since high school.  I ran a couple different big bands over that time as well as the little brass band I have now.  You can't play music that well unless you bring your love to it, and in bands like this, it's a shared experience. That's why it's such a blessing to be a life-long musician, and such a blessing to have played with John over all these years.

At our 20 year high school reunion, I was putting together a band of players from our class to run the old game band music for the reunion party.  We had enough players to do it, but John refused to come to the reunion.  This was a bit before John and Luisa found love with each other.  He was a little depressed at the time and just didn't want to see anyone. 

The reunion went fine and finished up around 11:00 PM.  So I gathered up all of the players and we drove out to John's house on Duncan Street, near Diamond.  If John wasn't going to come to the party, we were going to bring the party to him. 

It was nearly 1:00 AM when we showed up and rang his doorbell. I knew he wouldn't answer, so we got our our instruments and hit "Strike Up The Band."
John heard us of course, but figured that if he didn't do anything, that we'd go away. Hah!!! No chance.  By this point, lights were coming up and down the block, people were sticking their heads out the window, etc.   When we launched into the school pep song, he knew he was licked and came down to open the door and invite us in.

We all had a great time and John was especially thankful that we came.  We all loved John and he loved us. We still do.
Posted by Douglas Thorley on April 4, 2021
John and I met in the early 80's and played together often. He was a thoughtful and generous guy. I will light a candle to his memory.
Posted by Anthony Serrano on April 4, 2021
To the many gigs we had together! I will miss your sound! 
Posted by Douglas Miner on April 4, 2021
I’ve known John for many years having played music with him many times. He was a fine musician and a kind and gentle person who was always a pleasure to be around. RIP, John.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Bob Brandt on April 11, 2021
It was my good fortune to meet John back in the 10th grade in band and orchestra. He was an outstanding musician and a true gentleman, then, and throughout his life. I recall his reliable and sonorous sound in many school concerts and subsequent outside performances. Years later we would often run into each other while grocery shopping at the Diamond Heights Safeway. It was always a pleasure to stop and talk with him, not only about music but about many aspects of life. Great memories - thank you, John.
Posted by Ken Crawford on April 5, 2021
John was a thorough gentleman.
Posted by Russ Button on April 4, 2021
I first met John in 7th grade at James Lick Junior High School.  We called them "Junior High Schools" back then, not "Middle Schools." We were in math class together when the math teacher pulled a tuft of hair out of my head one time when I got out of line. John never let me forget that.

John and I have played together in various groups ever since high school.  I ran a couple different big bands over that time as well as the little brass band I have now.  You can't play music that well unless you bring your love to it, and in bands like this, it's a shared experience. That's why it's such a blessing to be a life-long musician, and such a blessing to have played with John over all these years.

At our 20 year high school reunion, I was putting together a band of players from our class to run the old game band music for the reunion party.  We had enough players to do it, but John refused to come to the reunion.  This was a bit before John and Luisa found love with each other.  He was a little depressed at the time and just didn't want to see anyone. 

The reunion went fine and finished up around 11:00 PM.  So I gathered up all of the players and we drove out to John's house on Duncan Street, near Diamond.  If John wasn't going to come to the party, we were going to bring the party to him. 

It was nearly 1:00 AM when we showed up and rang his doorbell. I knew he wouldn't answer, so we got our our instruments and hit "Strike Up The Band."
John heard us of course, but figured that if he didn't do anything, that we'd go away. Hah!!! No chance.  By this point, lights were coming up and down the block, people were sticking their heads out the window, etc.   When we launched into the school pep song, he knew he was licked and came down to open the door and invite us in.

We all had a great time and John was especially thankful that we came.  We all loved John and he loved us. We still do.
his Life

Obituary

John Thomas Kinney, devoted son, husband, father, friend, musician, and teacher, passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday, March 11, 2021. John was a lifelong San Franciscan, and son of Thomas and Phyllis Kinney. He was born November 12, 1951 in San Francisco. He attended public schools, James Lick Middle School and Lowell High School, and remained close to many of his high school friends. John earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Indiana University, pursuing studies in Trombone, and a Master of Arts from the Juilliard School.

He was a Life Member of the American Federation of Musicians’ Local 6, and played in many local musical groups including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Band, Horns-a-Plenty Brass Band, and regional symphony orchestras. Recently, he enjoyed playing with and organizing various musical groups in The Family Club.

John worked in a trucking firm in which he was owner and partner until his mother became unable to care for herself. He spent many years caring for his mother who had contracted polio as a child. He also cared for his aunt Marion Brown in her final years.

John met, fell in love with, and married Maria Luisa Mondragon in 1989. They traveled many times to visit her parents in Michoacán, Mexico. John and Luisa maintained a house in Mexico City as well. Their son John Mondragon Kinney lives in San Jose and is the owner and manager of Kinney Windows San Jose.

John was a patient and insightful person, who rarely got angry. He loved to read both fiction and nonfiction. John would complete several books a month. He was incredibly smart but also incredibly humble. He had an open mind and was always willing to look at a problem from all angles. John will be remembered as a true gentleman, kind and caring, reserved yet
loving a good joke, and a true and loyal friend.

A memorial for John is being planned for some time in June. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to John’s favorite charities, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org), or the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (sfspca.org).
Recent stories

Remembrances

Shared by Edison Liu on April 5, 2021
I went to high school with John and we played in the same remarkable orchestra at Lowell, he in the horn section ,and I in the violin section.  Because I also played piano, he asked me to accompany him on the Hindemith Sonata for trombone and piano for a regional competition.  He was the master, and I faked it, but we went onto the finals. I would recount that experience with a smile as it recalled our sense of youthful optimism. Though we diverged in our paths after graduation, I remember him with great fondness for his kindness, intelligence, and dedication to music even at those early years.