Dennis L. Kinsley

Dennis Kinsley, 60, of Rochester, died Thursday, January 22, 2015, at Rochester Methodist Hospital with his wife at his side.

Dennis was born October 10, 1954, in Rochester, Minnesota, to Orville and Ruth (Reinke) Kinsley. He grew up in rural Rochester and graduated from John Marshall High School, class of 1972. He turned down the opportunity to play college football in order to pursue his interest in the trades.

Dennis graduated from Staples Area Vocational-Technical School on May 29, 1974, after completing a two-year course in Diesel Mechanics. Early in his career, he worked on several construction projects including the construction of the Garrison Dam in North Dakota. He returned to Minnesota and went to work for various John Deere dealerships, working on industrial and ag equipment. He spent the last 30 years of his career working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation as a heavy equipment mechanic.

There he was given the Miles of Smiles Award, which recognizes individuals that create an atmosphere of cooperation and support and have shown themselves to be consistently positive and helpful. In his spare time, he also enjoyed working for Scattered Acres, helping to harvest fall crops.

Dennis met the love of his life, Rose, at a race track in Cresco, Iowa. They were married two years later at Sacred Heart Parish in Meyer, Iowa. They had three sons - Eric, Kevin, and Adam. Closest to his heart was is family. He took great pride in his marriage to his wife of 38 years and the accomplishments of his children. He was thoroughly delighted that he helped raise three sons who grew up to be fine young men.

Over the years, Dennis was very active his the broader community. He was a teacher at heart, and he enjoyed coaching numerous young athletes and/or mentoring several 4-Her’s. He coached Rochester Youth Baseball, Basketball, and Football as well as traveling and AAU teams. He was a 4-H volunteer leader for over 25 years. During that time, he worked on various committees on a club, county and state level. He was an initial founding member of the Shooting Sports and Wildlife Project in Olmsted County. For several years, he served as the Burger Barn manager at the Olmsted County Fair. There, he was known for making the BEST biscuits and gravy in town. For his service, he was given the Silver, Gold, and Pearl Clover Award. He was also given the Friend of 4-H Award. Dennis was also a generous 4-H donor. He sponsored horticulture and animal science projects for young people at the county and state level that promoted opportunities for youth development and leadership. Dennis was also a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Firearm Safety Instructor. For his contributions to the young people of the State of Minnesota, he was given a Certificate of Commendation by Governor Rudy Perpich.

Dennis, his wife, and his son, Eric, also had Kinsley Show Lambs. Dennis took great solace in working with the sheep on a day to day basis, taking them to livestock shows, and helping to market them across the country. He also enjoyed the pleasures of country living. Dennis led a very purposeful life. He enjoyed being a good friend and neighbor. He always had a pleasant smile, a good sense of humor, a kind heart, and a genuine interest in others. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing cribbage, attending county and state fairs, cooking and canning and gardening with his wife, attending car races, and going on long scenic drives.

Dennis was a shining example of how to live life. He will be forever loved and remembered for having the heart of a champion.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Rose; three sons: Eric Kinsley (Kristin Jackson) of Dennison; their son, Kevin (Staci) Kinsley and their children, Parker and Ava, of Rochester; and Adam Kinsley (Victoria Szuberski) of Rochester; parents, Orville and Ruth Kinsley of Rochester; sister, Cindy (Wayne) Haabala of Farwell; brother, Galen “Shorty” (Michelle) Kinsley of Rochester; mother-in-law, Bernice Runde of Riceville, Iowa; and five sister-in-laws: Mary (Charles) Oviatt, Donna (Ron) Fritsch, Pat (Steve) Stensrud, and Bev Timmons, all of Rochester, and Catherine (Richard) Adams of Riceville, Iowa. Dennis is also survived by 21 loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, LeRoy and Luella Reinke; Earl and Frana Kinsley; and his father-in-law, James Runde.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 31, at Pax Christi Catholic Church. A private internment will be held at a later date.

There will be a visitation on Friday, January 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. in River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home and one hour prior to the funeral service at Pax Christi Catholic Church.

Online condolences are welcome at


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