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Obituary for Thomas Kinney


Thomas Howard Kinney, 89, of La Crosse, died Thursday, October 17, 2011, at Whispering Oaks Nursing Home in Peshtigo, Wis.   
Tom was born on April 16, 1922, to Howard and Minnie (Christopherson) Kinney and he lived in the La Crosse area for many years. He started out on the family farm on Kinney Coulee Road, which was named for his great-grandfather, an early settler in the area.  Tom attended Logan High School in La Crosse and was involved in sports such as speed skating, track, and baseball.  He served in the United States Coast Guard from 1942 until 1943.  Tom went to MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis, Minn., where he met his future wife, Doris, who preceded him in death in l963. When they returned to the La Crosse area, Tom started a piano tuning business, working for himself and at different times at Leithold Music, which felt like home to him. He tuned and rebuilt pianos for many of the people of La Crosse and vicinity.  Tom was exceptionally talented musically, teaching himself to play the guitar to the point where he would play in clubs around Milwaukee. He also played the piano and full size string bass. Tom and his wife played together for years, traveling the state. He was a very independent and unique individual.  Tom cared little for possessions and wanted his life to be as simple as possible. He loved going to Arizona, where he once lived, and always wore his cowboy hat and belt buckle which became the symbols of his independence and freedom. Tom also loved his family and will be greatly missed by all of them.
Survivors include his two daughters, Denise (Michael) Wiziarde and Janine Kinney; six grandchildren, Greg Wiedmeyer, Nicholas (Rizza) Kinney, Jacob Czapowski, Leslie (Nicholas) Hasby, Kristin Wiedmeyer, and Katie Czapowski; and two great-grandchildren, Keira Lanting and Myah Hasby.
In addition to his wife, Tom was preceded in death by his parents and an infant daughter.
A private family burial was held in Hamilton Cemetery, West Salem, on November 1, 2011.  Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, (Woodruff Chapel), La Crosse, assisted the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.