Aven Kinder, Farm Editor

Aven Kinder - Missourian Farm Editor - Summer 1966Aven Kinder was one of the most buttoned-down guys I ever worked with. In a business made up of characters and misfits on their way up or on their way down, Mr. Kinder (I couldn’t imagine calling him by his first name) was a model of stability.

Even though he was the Farm Editor and had to roam all over the area dodging cow pies, I never saw him with his sleeves rolled up or his tie at anything but full mast.

He had only two speeds: Slow and Steady. I never saw him get angry or get in a hurry. He was the most methodical guy in the newsroom.

I was there when he retired in 1967. after 38 years at The Missourian. The front page story about his last day said that he was honored by management and his fellow workers who presented him with a $100 savings bond. It’s hard to tell in the badly-reproduced microfilm photo, but I’m almost sure there was a flicker of a smile on his face. He doled those out sparingly.

Mr. Kinder hired on with the paper in 1929; he and One-Shot Frony were the only ones left of the original five members of the staff from that era. For three consecutive years, 1962-1964, his farm pages were judged best in the state. The paper came in second in 1965.

The story said he had no plans for retirement except to “fish a little and hunt a little.” He and Mrs. Kinder, a teacher at May Greene School, lived at 1456 Rose Street. (His obit said 1457 Rose Street, but the City Directory confirms 1456. I bet he did a spin in his grave over that.). What I find amazing in retrospect is that Mr. Kinder retired at 65 with 38 years in the business. I always thought of him as an “old man.” I retired at 62, with 45 years under my belt, 35 of them at The Post, and didn’t think I was old.

Aven Kinder obituary

Aven Kinder, 84, died Jan. 23, 1986, at the Lake Ridge Health Care Center in Roseville, Minn.

On Oct. 5, 1930, he married the former Berenice Piles at Piedmont. She died in March of 1970. On May 5, 1973, he married the former Verrell Whittaker at Advance. She preceded him in death May 21, 1973. (Those are the kinds of dates Mr. Kinder would have come over to ask, “Are you SURE of that?” The dates, sadly enough, are right. The two were married on May 5, and the new Mrs. Kinder died “unexpectedly” on May 21.)

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Eugene (Sherrill Sue) Wright, St. Paul, Minn.; sisters Mrs. Elna Amsden, St. Louis, and Mrs. Marie O’Neal, Scott City; and two grandchildren.


5 Replies to “Aven Kinder, Farm Editor”

    1. The problem is that most obit information comes from the funeral home, which gets it from the family. How accurate it is depends a lot on how well somebody knew Aunt Nellie and the important dates in her life. In times of stress, family members get left out and dates get jumbled.

      Of course, it’s the newspaper obit writer who gets the irate phone calls from the relatives, even though he or she is merely passing on the information that was given to the paper. In all honesty, I don’t think I ever went back to fact-check one obit against the other. Even if I had, I’m not sure which one to believe.

      It’s like something that happened at a drive-by shooting down here in Florida where a toddler was killed. My photographer came back with one of those odd names that pop up frequently. I asked if he was sure of the spelling. “Yes, I got it from a family member.”

      When the story ran the next day, the editor chewed me out because the other two papers had a different spelling from ours. I called my colleagues at the other papers. They said their spelling was consistent because they had compared notes at the scene and agreed to go with the one that was eventually published. There was nothing for me to do but to knock on the family’s door and apologize for our error. It turned out that ALL of us were wrong: the family member my staffer had talked to couldn’t spell it and the other two guys had gone with a phonetic spelling that wasn’t right, either.

  1. Mrs. Kinder was my 5th grade teacher and the only elem. teacher I disliked:) Maybe that’s why Mr. Kinder didn’t smile much.

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