Joan Kinsinger

Obituary of Joan Elaine (Basiliere) Kinsinger

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    Joan Elaine (Basiliere) Kinsinger passed peacefully on 3/23/23 at age 90, the matriarch and eldest living member recorded in both her and late husband’s families.

     Joan was born on her parents’ farm in Malone, New York, 7/1/32 (Canada Day), the youngest of 3 daughters of Wilfred and Goldie (Jewett) Basiliere. Her family moved to N. Utica when she was a child and had a home where the current NYS Thruway overpass now exists. As a young girl Joan climbed trees, ran and played in the field and creek with her dog Snippy. She and her father would walk to St. John’s Church downtown and pray at the grotto for her mother who had contracted TB after surviving the Spanish Flu. Due to her mother’s long illness, Joan was also raised by her grandmother and beloved Aunt Betty, her mother’s sister. Joan was athletic and was also tall. Her height contributed to her success on the UFA track team in running and long jump where she won races and was referred to as the fastest female runner in Utica. In addition to her athleticism, Joan was an exceptional student and a beauty, often compared to the actress Ingrid Bergman and Queen Elizabeth, whom she greatly admired. While still in HS she played piano and sang in a band called the St. Peter’s Polka Dots and in the Roger Scharf Orchestra where she met and later married saxophonist Ray Edwards. The couple had 3 children (Steven, Mark, Jeanine). At only 21 her dear mother passed away. Joan along with her children, moved to her newly widowed father’s house on Deerfield Hill and worked the night shift at GE to support her young family. In 1956, she married Andrew E. Kinsinger, an engineer for NY Central and ConRail, with whom she shared a blessed union until his death in 2014. “Joan and Andy”, their names often said as one welcomed 2 children, son (Eric) and months after the devastating death of their dear son Mark at age 11, a daughter (Andrea). Their 4 surviving children were raised together in a loving household on Hampden Pl. referred to as “the “doll house” due to its quaint charm. Music could be heard coming from upstairs and downstairs as Joan saw to it that all 5 children had music lessons. She once designed, sewed, and sold elegant holiday aprons to afford the family’s first guitar. She then taught herself to play to start her children in lessons. She made matching vests for eldest sons Steve and Mark who performed professionally as a duo, The Hacienda Twins, house band at The Hacienda Restaurant and Club, owned by Joan’s sister Evelyn and husband Gene Maier. Both Joan and Andy would moonlight there as waitress and bartender when help was needed as the Hacienda was the most popular place in town. Joan and Andy were a stylish couple and loved to go out dancing, once winning 1st Place in a jitter-bug contest. They bowled together in several leagues over the years and Joan was awarded numerous trophies for her high scores. On weekends Andy would often take the family on Sunday drives in the country to explore the sites he had seen from the train. They shared a love of nature, of camping in the ADKs, from tenting at KOA and Nick’s Lake to upgrading to buying a place on First Lake. In 1980, at first sight, Joan wisely purchased historic Brookside Cottage on Fourth Lake which remains in the family to this day. Joan was also credited with naming the road on which the cottage stands, Minnowbrook Lane. Joan loved the water, whether pools, lakes, or the ocean, and insisted on swimming lessons for all 5 of her children. She was an avid swimmer and could often be found swimming long distances in Fourth Lake. Spotted by her husband Andy in a canoe, she sometimes would swim across to Alger Island. For her and the kids, Andy installed a pool in the backyard of their Utica home. Their Vero Beach condo was strategically located beside the rec center pool and tennis courts where Joan often would swim and play. Joan was a member of the Utica College and MVCC pools where between laps and in bathing cap and swim goggles many friendships were forged. She and her husband greatly enjoyed X-Country skiing, particularly at Lake Julia and Valleyview. They traveled extensively, the Hawaiian Islands in the 1970s was a favorite. Their trips were often dictated by their children’s locales. To see Eric in the US, Chicago, The Great Lakes, Virginia Beach, San Diego, and in Europe, France, Italy, and Germany. To visit Jeanine, Denver, Aspen, Tucson, Steve in NC and Andrea, NYC. They also took several Caribbean Cruises together. They went to Canada often where Joan would explore her ancestry in Quebec. She took classes in genealogy long before it was popular and completely mapped her family tree back to early centuries in France and England. Despite Joan and Andy’s many travels, Utica, the ADKs, and Vero Beach were the places they called home. Joan had a strong work ethic and deep love of the arts. She was Membership Secretary at Munson Williams until her retirement and took classes in their school of art in pottery and quilting. Her beautifully crafted quilts were exhibited at the museum and adorned her lovely home. Joan took astrology classes at Utica College and became a certified Astrologer. She did charts as a hobby for family and friends. She was an Avon representative and had many clients as her own beautiful glowing complexion was a testament to the products she sold. She was a Meals on Wheels volunteer and gave generously to various charities. Joan was a 3-time cancer survivor. She was a beloved piano teacher and hosted recitals for her many students. She wrote songs on the piano including one performed at her daughter Andrea’s wedding. She was an avid reader, a writer of poetry, which included her witty annual Christmas letter. She was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes choir for several years, a devoted parishioner, and participated in countless novenas. Joan was an excellent baker and cook, interested in making international dishes, famous for her delicious pies, preserves, and for every year picking and canning tomatoes. She had a love of gardening and meticulously tended to her vegetable and flower gardens. Although Joan had a rich variety of talents and interests what she valued most was her family “her kids”. Proud mother of 5, grandmother of 8 and great-grandmother of 5, Joan serves as a shining example of strength, faith and love.

     Mrs. Kinsinger is survived by her children Steven Edwards, Jeanine Higgins, Andrea Kinsinger-Kennedy, son-in law Rich Kennedy, Wendy Standard Kinsinger, God daughter, Bonnie Taddonio, niece Marguerite Williams and husband Joe Kamide, several dear nieces and nephews. Her best friend since childhood Earline (Whitney) Zinserling. Grandchildren Teri Villiere Meeks (Stuart), Hanna, Corrina, and Layla Kinsinger, Mark G. Edwards, Reid and Merritt Kennedy. Great-grandchildren Kane, Taylor, Timothy, Cameron, Daisy. She was pre-deceased by her husband Andy Kinsinger, her sisters Violet Ramm and Evelyn Maier, sons Mark W. Edwards, Eric Kinsinger, daughter in-law Aurora Bautista Kinsinger and grandson Reid Villiere.

     In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

     A memorial Mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Mary, Mother of Our Savior Parish, Our Lady Lourdes campus, followed by a celebration of life

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Memorial Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Mary, Mother of Our Savior Parish
Our Lady of Lourdes Campus, 2222 Genesee St.
Utica, New York, United States

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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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Joan Kinsinger

In Loving Memory

Joan Kinsinger

1932 - 2023

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