February 17, 1951 - May 6, 2021
The memorial service for Claire Mullen Kinney, 70, of West Columbia, will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Andrews Baptist Church, 230 Bush River Road in Columbia. The family will receive friends at the church at 12:00 p.m. preceding the service. The Reverend Dr. Dee Vaughan will officiate. Claire was born in Columbia, SC on February 17, 1951, and departed this life on May 6, 2021. She was the daughter of the late Harold Herbert and Marguerite Lyles Mullen. Claire attended University High School, and graduated from Columbia High School in 1969. Following high school, she graduated from Columbia College in 1973 with a degree in Elementary Education, and completed her Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of South Carolina. Her career as an educator spanned more than 30 years with Richland School District One, having served as a classroom teacher or guidance counselor at Hyatt Park Elementary School, McCants Elementary School, and H.B. Rhame Elementary School. Claire served on the Alumnae Council for the Columbia College Alumnae Association, was involved with many programs for the betterment of the community such as the Lunch Buddy Program at H.B. Rhame Elementary, Kids’ Cafe at St. Andrews Baptist Church, and was recognized as at H.B. Rhame Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009. She was a lifelong member of College Place United Methodist Church and more recently attended St. Andrews Baptist Church. Claire was interviewed on WLTX in 2008 about her love for teaching. She said, “It's more than career. It’s a calling.” In that interview, Claire said, she “feels rich with the satisfaction teaching…” She was often heard telling her students that “they are rich because they have parents that care about them…they are rich because they are talented and they can give a gift to others that you can’t buy.” She spent many days making sure that each of her students worked to their fullest potential. The result of her work can be seen in many men and women throughout the Columbia area and beyond. Outside of teaching, Claire enjoyed traveling to Hilton Head Island, where she spent most of her summers. The beach was her favorite place to vacation. She also enjoyed Walt Disney World and Disney cruises. At home, Claire entertained many guests over the years, including her “supper club,” her extended family, and those who shared a love of teaching. Survivors include her loving husband of 47 years, Ronald W. Kinney; daughter, Julia Kinney Vaporis of Lexington; sons, Timothy Kinney (Joy) of Lexington, and Tyler Kinney of West Columbia; brother, Julian “Bill” Lyles of Tucker, GA; 3 grandchildren, George, William, and Peter Vaporis, and her niece, Leslie Lyles and nephew, Robert (Emily) Lyles. She was preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Peggy Lyles. Claire’s family wishes to express appreciation to the staff of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care, Compassionate Care Hospice, and the staff of Right at Home (Johnsie Douglas, Jennifer Smith, and Arial Walker). Memorials can be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities (Columbia, SC), 2901 Colonial Drive, Columbia, SC 29203 and Palmetto Place Children and Youth Services, P.O. Box 3395, Columbia, SC 29230, or a charity of your choice.
The memorial service for Claire Mullen Kinney, 70, of West Columbia, will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Andrews Baptist Church, 230 Bush River Road in Columbia. The family will receive friends at the church at 12:00 p.m.... View Obituary & Service Information
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