November 19, 1928 - February 6, 2020
Janesville, WI -- Ted Kinnaman, 91, of Janesville, the loving husband of Janice M. Kinnaman for 66 years, died on February 6, 2020. Ted was the father of Jackie Kinnaman (Henry Bayer), Kathie Kinnaman, and Ted J. Kinnaman (Caroline Schweiter), and Poppa to Sarah Bayer (Ben Traslavina), Charlotte Bayer, and Ginny Schweiter. His cousin Polly Novak of Oak Park, IL, gave him exceptional companionship in the last years of his life; he is also survived by his sister-in-law, Martha Kinnaman, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews, including Tom Kinnaman, Ken Kinnaman (Kelly), and Jim Kleinz (Lisa). He was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore J. Kinnaman and Mamie C. Kinnaman of Park Ridge, IL, and his brother, Richard Kinnaman (first wife Ruth Kinnaman, d. 1992).
Ted graduated from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL, and Northwestern University in Evanston, IL; he participated in the 1948 Rose Bowl as a member of the Northwestern marching band. He went on to earn a master's degree in musicology at the University of Iowa. In addition, Ted served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for many years, including a period of active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Ted taught music in Galena, IL, before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, where he served from the institution's founding, in 1966, until his retirement, in 1995. He initiated and directed the annual Madrigal Dinner at "U-Rock." He conducted the youth choir at the First Congregational Church in Janesville and was a beloved piano teacher to generations of Janesville children. Ted also played baritone in the Janesville Community Band and wrote reviews of musical performances for the Janesville Gazette.
A tireless community servant, Ted served on the Janesville Board of Education and the board of Janesville's Hedburg Public Library. Reflecting his lifelong interest in gardening and trees, he also served on the Shade Tree Advisory Committee to the Janesville City Council. His neighbors on Columbus Circle knew him as not only a caretaker of the circle's beautiful canopy but a mainstay of the community.
Ted was active in Democratic Party politics throughout his life in Janesville. He chaired the Rock County campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and attended the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a McCarthy delegate; he was also a delegate for George McGovern at the 1972 convention. Passionately committed to social justice and liberal values, he was a founding member of The Madison Institute, a progressive think tank in Madison, WI. He was a prolific writer of opinion pieces and letters to the editor in the Janesville Gazette, and at the age of 82, he marched in the 2011 protests against Wisconsin's Act 10. He was honored by the Rock County Democratic Party in 2017 for his years of activism. He was actively involved in the Rock County Labor Coalition and was a member of the Janesville affiliate of the Wisconsin Education Association.
Ted considered himself a humanist. He always had a book in his hands and several nearby, and was particularly interested philosophy and history. Active well into his retirement, he traveled throughout Europe, relishing the art, architecture, and museums. His family and friends will remember him as a lover of culture and ideas.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, with Rev. Tanya Sadagopan officiating. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday at the Church. Interment will be in Oak Hill Cemetery. Schneider Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, http://act.alz.org/donate, or to Doctors Without Borders, http://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/onetime.cfm. For online condolences and guestbook, please visit: www.schneiderfuneraldirectors.com
Ted's family thanks the exceptional staff at Cedar Crest for their care and support over the past three years.