"Never Let Go of the Hand of God"
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.--Isaiah 41:10
After a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer, Carl William Kinney, Jr., 64, made his journey to his Heavenly home September 4, 2020 with his wife and children at his side in Dallas, Texas. Carl, affectionately known as Skip to many, recently celebrated 40 years of marriage with the love of his life, Joy. Carl grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where he graduated from Shaw High School in 1974. During his youth he developed a love of sports, both playing and watching, and was a die-hard Cleveland sports fan. In 2016, he relished in Cleveland's cathartic sports moment when the Cavaliers won the 2016 National Basketball Association Championship. And he held out hope that this upcoming National Football League season would be the Cleveland Brown's year (of course, he thought that every year, as all Browns fans worth their salt do). He also grew up loving music. He was an avid guitarist (self-taught) and enjoyed playing along with his favorite jazz artists, a pastime he could be found doing almost every day after work. In 1979, Carl moved to Dallas, Texas. He and Joy married on August 2, 1980 and Dallas became his adopted hometown, as they raised their four children in Cedar Hill, Texas, a suburb just outside of Dallas.
Carl worked at United Parcel Service for 40 years, where he was a distinguished driver and trainer. He was a long-time member of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship ("OCBF") where he served in the media ministry. Carl's Christian faith informed every aspect of his life from a very young age, and he welcomed an opportunity to share that faith with everyone who crossed his path. He and Joy were small group leaders at OCBF, and his children have fond memories of his family bible studies, sharing of daily scripture verses, devotionals and spirited debates. He always had two things in his pocket at all times: a fresh balled up tissue or napkin ready to wipe a grandchild's nose, a bible tract to pass out to people inviting them to get to know his Lord. Anyone who knew Carl knows that he loved to work with his hands--a love that he discovered while doing construction work with his dad, Carl W. Kinney, Sr. He could also be found during his vacation time doing handiwork around his and others' homes that most people found to be a chore. Putting up drapes, installing light fixtures, patching drywall, fixing plumbing, mounting flat TVs - you name it, Carl could do it. He would tell you that his dad cried more than his mom when Carl moved to Dallas because his dad was losing one of his best workers.
Carl was a quiet man, but his impact was loud and clear. He never missed a moment to help someone in need and he rarely talked about the many ways he embodied Matthew 6:3, but everyone knew they could count on Carl. He spent many a day in the Walmart clearance section looking for good deals on items that he didn't necessarily need at the time, but that he knew someone would likely need at some point. Back pain? Carl would pull out the pulsing electrodes that he found a few week ago on clearance. Sinus congestion? Carl would grab the nasal wash system he picked up on clearance knowing how miserable certain seasons would be for allergy sufferers. His family was his priority and he did everything in his power to take care of them. He could always be found with any number of his 13 (soon to be 14) grandchildren climbing into his arms. His smile was one of pure joy. His voice calm, calculated and firm. His heart was pure gold and his cheesy jokes were the cheesiest. As Carl battled this devastating disease, he always gave God the glory for where He had brought him and even for what he was going through. Carl never complained and fought hard with dignity and immeasurable strength. He called every nurse and doctor by name adding a "Thank you so much" and "God Bless You" for their service. Carl spent his final days with immense gratitude and great praise. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl W. Kinney, Sr. and Lucy A. Kinney. He leaves behind to cherish his memories his wife Joycelyn ("Joy"), his four children and their spouses, Jennifer (Winfred), Celeste (Byron), Carla (Joshua), and Brandon (Ebonie); his five siblings Jackie, Carol, Joyce, Marsha and Henry; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws as well as numerous friends and acquaintances. The sparkle in his eye came from his 13 grandchildren who loved their G-Pop tremendously: Bailey, Bryce, Sophia, Sasha, Jacob, Elias, Savannah, Ellington, Jordan, Hyland, Eero, Jonah and Ezra (and Parker due in December 2020). Carl's family is forever grateful for every prayer and thought from far and wide for his recovery and well-being during each step of this journey. We felt every single one.
Even during his final moments, he left us with words to give us a glimpse into Heaven and keep us comforted and connected to Christ: "Oh Wow. That's Amazing!"
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