James E. Kinney, 79, former Northampton Township supervisor

Posted: April 22, 2013

James E. Kinney, 79, of Northampton Township, where he was a former longtime Republican supervisor and an avid golfer, died Friday, April 19, of a heart attack at home.

His daughter, Carolyn K. DuMont, said he had been recovering from the partial amputation of a foot because of diabetes.

The Kinney family moved to Northampton in 1972 from Northeast Philadelphia, and Mr. Kinney quickly got involved in local politics.

He was elected a supervisor in 1978 and served for 24 years, though not all consecutively. During Mr. Kinney's time on the board, the township developed a plan to preserve farmland, televised township meetings for the first time, and improved roads.

Though he was a modest man, Mr. Kinney returned from township meetings and tuned in to the local channel to see how he did, DuMont said. She said he believed in keeping taxes low and was "very passionate about community service."

Mr. Kinney retired from the board in 2008, but he stayed active in local politics as a member of the Planning Commission.

As a supervisor, Mr. Kinney backed expanding recreation for residents. He was a former member of the Spring Mill Country Club in Ivyland. Well into his 70s, he golfed and played bocce ball at the Northampton Township Senior Center.

DuMont said her father had English friends who came to Bucks County to golf. He also traveled to England to golf with them. She called it a "golfing brotherhood."

Mr. Kinney had been a salesman in the food-service industry, and he wrote for Food Trade News. DuMont said her father constantly wrote her letters when she was in college and was a patient man not given to yelling.

Now in her early 50s, DuMont said when she spoke to her father on the phone, he would still call her by her childhood nickname, "Toots."

In addition to DuMont, Mr. Kinney is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan; sons James Jr. and Robert; and three granddaughters.

A memorial service for friends, family, and others will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home in Richboro. Interment will be private. Contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust St., Philadelphia 19103.

Contact Bob Fernandez

at 215-854-5897 or bob.fernandez@phillynews.com.

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