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.
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entry posted by Nikole Marie Kinsella on 08-23-2013
I lost the most supportive woman/Grandma. I'm going to miss those weekly letters, pictures and the weekly phone calls. I know she is somewhere much better. I just want to Thank everyone who has signed her guest book and acknowledged her and sends love to our family. She will be missed so very much.
entry posted by Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village on 08-23-2013
Audrey was such a good person, a supporter of her church and of the Prehistoric Indian Village. We at the Village will all miss her smile and kind words.
entry posted by James & Trina Kropenske on 08-20-2013
Trina and I send our condolences to the Kinsella family. We were in the Mitchell Exchange Club and had a lot of fun times and visits with the Kinsella's.
entry posted by Vicki Tschida (Odland) on 08-20-2013
Jack, Steve and Jay - Your family has been so special to me over the years, and Audrey's passing saddens me greatly. I will always remember her as an elegant, beautiful and caring woman, one who always knew the right thing to do for any situation. My cherished memories include babysitting for your family, knowing that Audrey was the "go to" person for me all these years at the appropriate times, our fun "wine times with the Kinsellas" during our Mitchell visits (the last one being this past 4th of July), and finally, the day before she went to the hospital for the final time when she visited my mom (Arlis) in her new apartment at Wesley Acres delivering homemade soup and cut up fruit. Her never-ending smile and sparkling eyes and warm hugs will be what I remember most with great fondness. She meant so much to me and I will never forget her and what she did for me and my family. May God bless her precious memory.
entry posted by Kay Schoenfelder on 08-20-2013
Became friends with Audrey after I met her at the clinic. Just a delight to be with. She will be greatly missed.
entry posted by Sharon Eaton on 08-19-2013
I worked as a volunteer tour guide for 8 years at the Prehistoric Indian Village before moving to Sioux Falls. You always knew when Audrey was there as the place took on a special sunshiny glow! She was a great lady. God be with you in your time of grief.
entry posted by Howard and Donna Paul on 08-18-2013
Audrey was a great person to know. She was a visionary and served the people of Mitchell so well. She was a friend, and she will be missed by all who knew her.
entry posted by Rollie & Ella Loon on 08-18-2013
We were so very sad to hear of Audrey's passing and want you to know how much she meant to both of us. Rollie especially appreciated serving with her on the Planning Commiission for many yeasr, and I had the opportunity to serve with her on the YWCA Board of Directors. She will be missed by all of us who knew and loved her.
entry posted by Pat Cassutt on 08-16-2013
I am so sorry of reading about Audrey's death in the paper. I was shocked. I remember when she read to my first grade students at John Paul ll many years ago. Yes, I still call her "Grandma Audrey" when she would come into Coborn's on Sunday am to buy a paper. I will always cherish her reading to my students and her smile. God Bless you and your family. She is a very special lady and will always be remembered. Our loss is heaven's gain alright. God Bless!
entry posted by Carol Kettler on 08-16-2013
Jack, Steve and Jay, I was so sorry to hear of Audrey's passing. Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. While we are all saddened by this loss, the heavens are rejoicing in Audrey's homecoming. What a celebration they must be having!! I remember whenever the Kinsella's came to the Donlin's, we all stopped whatever it was we were doing, because our good frends were there to see us. I have such wonderful memories of all of you. May God Bless you all.
entry posted by Lanette Muchmore on 08-16-2013
Jack, our thoughts are with you at this time if loss. What a special lady she was and will be remembered by all.
entry posted by Darlene and Lloyd Lueken on 08-15-2013
We were so sad to hear of Audrey's passing. Although we have been living in Florida for several years, we stayed in touch with frequent emails, and tried to see each other whenever we were visiting in Mitchell. Our last visit was in June, her first "outing" in many months, and we were treated to one of her famous hugs, lots of smiles and a wonderful visit. Jack, Sylvia, Steve and Anne, Jay, Nikki, Jason, Jak and Margaret---you, along with Tom and Jim, were the loves of her life and I know she is beaming with the joy of being with Tom and Jim again. It was a privilege being her friend and we will miss her so much.
entry posted by Colleen Isaak (Donlin) on 08-15-2013
Jack, Steve and Jay bird my heart aches for your loss of Audrey but sings with joy for my Mom who is in line right behind Jim and Tom to see her! Audrey and all of your Family is dearly loved by the Donlin Family. God Bless you all!
entry posted by Kathy Hertz on 08-15-2013
Audrey was such a good friend to my mother Marcia Donlin. When our dad and mom passed away Audrey and Jack "adopted" us so we wouldn't be orphans. She communicated regularly by e-mail and was always expressing loving concern over all of our well being. I agree with Danny (above) =Our loss is heaven's gain. Rest in peace Audrey and may God bless and comfort all of you family, friends and loved ones.
entry posted by Dan Donlin on 08-15-2013
I just learned of Audrey's passing and experienced physical heartache. The world lost a wonderful, kind and compassionate woman, but now that is heaven's gain. To the Kinsella family: You have my condolences and prayers for you loss. Audrey was so loving and open to all. Your entire family has a warm spot in the hearts of all the Donlin clan. May God give you all strength during this difficult time and may the wonderful memories of Audrey fill your hearts with love and laughter. Her smile and laugh wil forever be in my memory. God Bless!!