Audrey Marie Kinsella was born March 5, 1927 in Mandan, ND to Rolf and Grace (Meisinger) Normann and raised in Bismarck, ND. After graduating from Bismarck High School she worked for the Navy Department in Washington, DC. She married Jean G. (Jack) Kinsella at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck on November 7, 1946. The family moved to Mitchell in 1965.
Audrey was involved in a variety of community-service activities and projects in Mitchell. She was instrumental in the development of the Davison County Mental Health Association, which lead to the present-day Dakota Counseling Institute and the availability of mental health services for Mitchell area residents. The Brady Home Advisory Committee and the YWCA Board of Directors were among her many community volunteer projects. She worked on various committees of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce and received the Community Service Award from the Chamber in 1994. She managed the Dakota Wesleyan University Bookstore from 1975 to 1982.
In 1970, Audrey began two terms as the first woman elected to the Mitchell City Council. In 1975, she was appointed to the Mitchell Planning Commission and became the first woman in South Dakota to chair a city planning commission, a position she held for five years of her ten-year tenure. In 1976, Audrey became a member of the Board of Directors of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Preservation Society. Her services to the Society included two terms as president and several years as Business Manager and Gift Shop Manager. She was deeply involved in the development of the Boehnen Memorial Museum and the Thomsen Center. She had been an active volunteer at the site.
Audrey was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church where she had volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector and greeter for many years. For ten years she was a volunteer reader at John Paul II Elementary School where she was known to her first grade audiences as “Grandma Audrey.”
Survivors include her husband, Jack of Mitchell; two sons: Steven and his wife Ann of St Paul, MN, and Jay of Jerome AZ, her grandchildren: James Andrew, Margaret Marie, Jason Keith and Nikole Marie; and a sister, Sylvia Helsper of Bellevue, WA. She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant sister and two sons, James Normann and Thomas Jean.
In lieu of flowers the Audrey Kinsella Memorial Fund has been established,
please send memorials to Bittner Funeral Chapel, 805 West Havens, Mitchell SD, 57301.