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Shady Grove Ruritan


 John Kinney's 100 Birthday

(Pictures below)

John E. Kinney



Born October 25, 1917 Port Allegheny PA

    The year the USA entered the Great War the War to end all Wars.

    Raised on a small dairy farm which is still in the family and is one of the region’s top producing herds

    As a boy was a Lone Scout keep that in mind for later Graduated Pennsylvania State University 1940 with a Degree in Poultry Husbandry and then worked in poultry industry for two years in South Eastern Pennsylvania.

     With the war healing up he decided he needed to enlist but his employer was a conscious objector so they fired him

Married Helen Ewing and they had three children Ross, Sue and Jay

    One day John was ill so he went to see a young doctor and shortly there after he was invited to attend a football game with a pretty young public nurse named  Helen. Well Helen was the doctors sister and she asked her brother what he thought of her accepting a date to this football game. The doctor replied “well I had pretty good look at him and I think he is OK”.

   That marriage became one we can all emulate. When Helen required nursing home care John visited her every day he could physically get there for seven years. Fall was a time they enjoyed watching Penn State football from her Quincy home room


Military service

Enlisted in Army Air Corps 1942

    So back to the romance. John and Helen decided to get married and by this time he was in cadet training at Blyville Arkansas. Helen took a train to Blyville and as her train was approaching Blyville John flew out and mock strafed the train.

    Now, I ask you ladies is that romantic or what?

    Assigned Submarine patrol flying B-25s in Caribbean he was credited with disabling a German Submarine and its subsequent capture by the navy Sent to England and based in Bungay in East Anglia he flew 30 missions against Germany as a pilot of a B-24 as member of 446 Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force Awarded the Air Medal

    The Air Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the armed forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight



Diamond Ice & Coal of Wilmington DE

    After he was fired from his first job by the conscious objector his orders were delayed so he took a sales job with Diamond Ice & Coal to fill the time until he reported for duty. John liked to meet people so he was pretty successful Cumberland Valley Hatchery of Maugansville

   This was his employer after the war and it was in line with his college training.

   I believe that company went out of business in the early 50’s

Beacon Milling Company

   After Maugansville moved to Blue Ridge Summit and was employed by Beacon

   Moved to Greencastle in 1956 and because he knew his way around an air plane went to work for Fairchild Technical writer for Fairchild Aircraft Technical writer for Harry Kahn Associates

    There is a huge amount of diagrams and manuals needed for even small military  equipment. That paper accumulates for obsolete planes and when it was thought  that paper was a source of income of his Scout troop it was saved anticipating the price was go up. Well there is a ton or so still in my barn and the price never went  up.



Civic service

   Not satisfied to relax after his war service he jumped into public service


Past president of West Grove Pa. Lions Club

Past president of Greencastle Rotary Club

Past President of Greencastle Pa. Chamber of Commerce

Member of the American Legion

Member of Veterans of Foreign wars

Member of the Masonic Lodge

Past Trustee and Elder Greencastle Presbyterian Church

Member of Greencastle-Antrim School Board 17 years

President of Greencastle-Antrim School Board 6 years

   This was at a time when there was a strong movement to cut spending and with it  educational quality. As a result of his leadership and that of the superintendent at the time made Greencastle Antrim one of the best schools in our region. He did this despite viscous criticism even from those he considered close friends. Families and companies move to Greencastle because of the small town atmosphere and because the schools are better. That raised property values and raises the tax base.

Founding Vice President of Greencastle Antrim Organized Youth Foundation

This is the group that rescued the rail road station from Conrail.


Ruritan Service


Founding member and second president of Maugansville Md. Ruritan Club

Helped start the State Line Ruritan Club

President three times of the Shady Grove Ruritan Club

Started our blue bird house project

Started our Christmas wreath project

With Ralph Tracy started our Veterans recognition program

Honored by our club as a Tom Downing Fellow


Boy Scouts of America

Lone Scout as a boy following the woods lore of Earnest Thompson Seaton

Assistant Scoutmaster West Grove Pa

Scoutmaster Blue Ridge Summit, Pa

Explorer Post Advisor Fairchild Aircraft

Committee Chairman Troop 13 Greencastle, Pa

Founding committee Chairman Troop 99 Greencastle, Pa

Scoutmaster Troop 99 Greencastle, Pa 14 years

Troop Committee Troop 95 Shady Grove Pa

Led Contingent to Explorer Olympics Ft Collins Co. 1970

Led contingent to Philmont Scout Ranch 1978

Silver Beaver Award 1989 (A local BSA Council’s highest award)



 This has been just a snapshot of John accomplishments. There are a 100 years’ worth of stories so I invite all of you to visit John and hear those stories

  I want to close by asking all of you if you are not inspired by the example of someone who served his country, risked his life weekly was only one of a handful of men in his cadet class who survived the war., came home and instead of sitting back and saying I’ve done my bit let someone else serve the public. He jumped in and spent the next half century in public service

Tribute to John Kinney by Dr. J Harness

Melissa Heintzelman, Ruritan Potomac District Zone Governor; Larry Cassell, Ruritan National Director; Jay Kinney, Son; Ross Kinney, Son; Dave Kipp, Shady Grove Ruritan President; Dr. Jerry Harness, Secretary and seated: John Kinney, 100th Birthday.

            Forty two members and guests of he Shady Gove Pa. Ruritan club met October 10 for their regular monthly meeting at Providence Place in Chambersburg Pa. They changed their venue for this meeting to celebrate the 100th birthday of resident John E. Kinney one of their longtime members. Dinner was catered by Bit-O-Catering. On hand to honor Mr. Kinney were Pennsylvania’s 90th legislative district representative Paul Schemel who presented Mr. Kinney with a commeritive citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. On hand also to offer congratulations from Ruritan were Missy Heintzelman zone governor and Larry Cassell National Representative. Dr. Jerome Harness presented a short biography of Kinney’s WWII service in the 8th Air Force in Germany and his extensive service to numerous civic organizations. He cited Kinney’s leadership in Ruritan, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Greencastle-Antrim school board, church, Masonic Lodge, Boy Scouts of America and veterans’ organizations.

Honorable Paul Schemel, Pennsylvania House of Representatives presenting John with a declaration from the House and Governor.
Mr. Randal Ackerman from Penn State Alumni presented John with a Penn State blanket and all guests with a Penn State Hershey Bar.