Iris (Costikyan) Kinnard, widow of William N. Kinnard, Jr., passed away on July 7, 2009, in Storrs [Mansfield], CT.
Born in New York City to Simon and Thelma Costikyan, just weeks after the crash of 1929, she grew up “without two nickels to rub together,” but surrounded by a loving extended family.
After graduating from Horace Mann School, she attended Swarthmore College where she met her beloved “Willie,” who she married in 1949.
After moving to Middletown, CT., the couple had two children, Susan and Jeffrey.
In 1955, the family moved to Storrs (Mansfield) where Bill had been hired by the University of Connecticut.
There began an amazing number of friendships and relationships, both personal and professional, many of which continued until the day Iris died.
Among her many activities, Iris served on the Board of Education and the Democratic Town Committee, and was actively involved in the League of Women Voters.
She returned to school and earned a Master’s degree in English in 1967.
Shortly thereafter, she became one of the original staff members of CONNPEP (now CONNCAP), a new program [at Eastern Connecticut State University] designed to prepare inner-city high school students for college. She worked for CONNPEP in various capacities, ultimately as its Director, until her retirement in 1991. Helping young people was a true calling for her.
Iris enjoyed the social and cultural aspects of living in a college community. She loved attending plays and concerts, playing bridge, and traveling, dining and talking with her friends, of whom she had many.
It is unlikely that the UCONN women’s basketball team had a more devoted fan.
She was marvelously generous with her time, money and heart – willing to do almost anything for anyone.
She kept in touch with many of her former students and colleagues and was incredibly proud of their accomplishments.
She had many cousins and delighted in their company.
Her particular joy was her grandchildren, Amanda, Nathaniel, Rebecca and Julia Jones, and Jason, Adam and Elizabeth Kinnard who, along with her own children and their spouses Bruce and Andrea, she loved with absolute abandon.
Her enthusiasm and generosity gave great joy to all who knew her.
A memorial celebration of Iris’s life will be held at Zenny’s Restaurant in Storrs [Mansfield] CT on Aug. 9, 2009, at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, a donation made to any of these programs would please her: the Iris Kinnard Emergency Loan Fund at CAP, Unit 2170, University of CT, Storrs, CT 06269; the William N. Kinnard, Jr. Scholarship Fund, UConn School of Business – CREUES 2100 Hillside Road, Unit 1041, Storrs, CT 06269-1041; or the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) at, 55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022-1112.
Arrangements were handled by the Potter Funeral Home.
Posted July 14, 2009