Michael J. “Mike” Kinney

February 15, 1936 – May 26, 2024
'Take a time-out'

PORTAGE, WI – Michael “Joe” Kinney passed away on Sunday, May 26, 2024, at his home surrounded by his loved ones. 

Born on February 15, 1936, in Richland Center, WI, Mike grew up as the oldest of six children on his family's farm in rural Soldiers Grove. After graduating from Blue River High School, Mike attended UW-Platteville where he received his degree in Agriculture and Biological Science. He was drafted to the US Army soon after college where he served for 4 years before receiving an offer from Portage High School to become their Ag Teacher.

In his 2nd year of teaching, Mike was offered a job at the 1st National Bank of Portage. Mike, who self admittedly knew nothing about the banking industry, accepted the job that began his 44-year career in banking.  Mike took great pride in his work and helping out several generations of families, including the Amish Community, until his retirement in 2003. Michael loved the people in the Portage community and would often say, "He liked to help get the little guy started."

Mike met Katie in 1984 while she was on a weekend ski trip.  They married on January 26, 1990, at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.  They have a daughter together, Anastasia S. Kinney and a granddaughter, Layla Michael Ann Drew.

He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Pastoral Council, and Cemetery Committee.  He also served on the Divine Savior Hospital Board, Columbia County Highway Board, Economic Development Council, Bidwell Community Trust, Portage Area Chamber of Commerce, Portage Planning Committee, Portage Optimist and Portage Elks Lodge, where he served as the Exulted Ruler.  He was also a proud member of the Portage Country Club and Curling Club for many years.  Although Mike was a Packer, Badger, Brewer, Bucks fan, and avid NASCAR fan, he really enjoyed watching and supporting Portage Warriors Athletics.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen, daughter Anastasia (Dan Mael) and granddaughter Layla.  Daughter Michelle Shull of Oviedo, FL, granddaughters Tasia Agramonte and Jenna Chance, grandsons Matthew Shull and Michael Chance.  Other grandchildren include Elias, Liera and Katlin. Siblings Mary Rose (Paul) More of LaCrosse, Patrick (Helen) Kinney of Middleton, Timothy (Andrea) Kinney of Spring Green, James (Cheryl) Kinney of Richland Center and many other nieces, nephews and long-time friends and his comforting dog, Dixie.  He was preceded in death by his daughter Susan Zyzek (Kinney), his father James Edward Kinney and mother Anastasia Alice Ryan (Kinney) and his sister and brother-in-law Gertrude and Donald Delaurier.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Portage, with Fr. Dale Grubba presiding.  Inurnment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery with Military Honors provided by Portage Area Veterans Honor Guard.  Visitation will be from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the church on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family to be donated to multiple charities of Mike’s wishes.

The family would like to thank the Madison VA Hospital, Bright Star (Amanda), and Agrace.

Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage (www.pmmfh.com) is assisting the family.