Mrs. Shirley Foster Kinney was known for her love of family and genealogy. She passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening, April 11, 2017, with her loving family by her side.
Her story began on May 26, 1935, in LaGrange, Georgia. The daughter of Springer and Ruby Kent Foster, she graduated from LaGrange High School in 1953. She attended the University of Georgia where she met the love of her life, the late James Paul Kinney, Jr., while playing ping pong at the Baptist Student Union. They were married on April 13, 1957. He died on March 5, 2007, just a few weeks shy of their 50th anniversary.
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Home Economics, James and Shirley moved to Rome just after the first Rome built transformer was shipped. James worked at the General Electric Company and Shirley took a job as a floating teacher at Eighth Ward and Neely Schools. While at Neely, Shirley watched the construction and placement of a new steeple at First Baptist Church of Rome, the church where she and her family worshipped. Shirley left her teaching post and had two children, Jim, who is now Senior System Administrator-Developer Lead for Emory School of Medicine Biomedical Informatics Department and Kathy, veterinarian/owner at Whatley-Kinney Veterinary Clinic in Rome.
Shirley volunteered at the North Heights Elementary School library while her children attended the school. She received her M.A. in Library Science from West Georgia College in the early 1980's.
In the mid-60s she developed an interest in genealogy and was a regular fixture at the Rome-Floyd Library. Shirley wrote 12 volumes of Vital Statistics for Rome and Floyd County that included births, marriages and deaths from the mid-1880s. Family trips were centered on genealogical research and family reunions. James partnered with Shirley in their research. This resulted in finding her relationships to Peter Strozier and James' relationships to Samuel Clemons, Cora Harris and both discovered numerous lines to Revolutionary ancestors. The family also traveled to England in 1983 to meet Shirley's pen pal. The two began corresponding in the 7th grade.
Shirley was a charter member of the Emma Sansom Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She discovered three ancestors who were Confederate soldiers. She also served as president of the Northwest Georgia Genealogical Society. Shirley was a member of the Georgia Genealogical Society, the St. Louis Genealogical Society and the New England Genealogical Society. She also served on The Floyd County Heritage Book Committee and participated in the Floyd County Cemetery Book project.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Paul Kinney, Jr. she is survived by a son, James Paul Kinney, III (Jim), his wife, Virginia Mauldin-Kinney (Ginny), of Tucker, GA, their two children, Heather Kinney, of Atlanta, GA and Phillip Kinney of Tucker, GA and a daughter, Kathleen Kinney Goodwin of Rome, GA.
Funeral services for Shirley will be held in the Chapel at First Baptist Church of Rome on Friday, April 14, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. with Matt DuVall and Floyd Roebuck officiating. Interment will be in Oaknoll Memorial Gardens following the service.
The family will receive friends on Thursday evening, April 13, 2017, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Salmon Funeral Home, 2516 New Calhoun Highway.
Flowers will be received or donations can be made to First Baptist Church of Rome.
The staff of Salmon Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Shirley Foster Kinney.