Following is the obituary for JANET KINNALLY, submitted by her daughter, Janette Kinnally.
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It is with great sadness that I write about the passing of my mother, Janet Kinnally, at the age of 80 on May 6, 2022.
She was a loving, kind soul that cared deeply about her family and friendships. I don’t think I ever met a person who did not remember her with great affection and fondness.
She grew up in London, England, during the war, and her family of five girls was displaced for a number of years — she lived in a convent for five years. When she returned back home, her father suddenly passed away when she was 15 and she needed to work to make money and worked in many jobs, including as an usherette and she met the Beatles. She worked in England up until she moved to the States to help her sister who had recently moved to Connecticut.
While on a work visa, she met my father at an insurance company at the age of 23. It was love at first sight for my father. They dated for several weeks until she told him she had to go back to England. My father wrote to her when she returned home and said he would like to visit and came to England, but bought two tickets back to the States. He asked her to move back and stay with his family.
The rest is history. They got married in 1967. They had a true love story. The ones you read about in books, that you wish you had; that was their love and affection for each other. They held hands and walked every day at the beach or her favorite place, Sherwood Island, until my mom could no longer walk a few months ago. They were married for 55 years and she was my dad’s one true love.
My mom and dad moved to Westport in 1967 and gave birth to me in 1969, her one and only child. We had a special bond. She said to me, I taught her what true unconditional love was. I understand what she means, now that I have two children (boys — ages 16 and 11) of my own. And she loved her two grandchildren, Mikhail and Andrew more than anything.
My mom was also a lifelong health and wellness pioneer. She sought out Eastern and holistic healing modalities in the ’80s throughout her life. She worked for a chiropractor, a naturopathic doctor and as a caregiver for end-of-life patients. She loved nature, gardens, the ocean and animals, and even was a dog walker. She loved helping others. She was truly an amazing woman who inspired me daily.
My mom and dad enjoyed traveling around the world and every year met up with her sister and brother-in-law to travel to a different destination around the globe together for 30 years. They had a lot of fun and always had many stories to share of their adventures and of the amazing people they met around the world.
I moved to California in 1996 and moved back to Westport in 2012 with my husband Andrey and my two boys, due to wanting to be close to my parents as my mom’s health declined from dementia/Alzheimer’s. We lived together until the end of her life.
I feel very grateful that we had the last ten years together, so she could spend time with me and my children. We have many special memories together, but the ones I remember the most are singing at the dinner table and afterwards dancing to the music from the ’50s and ’60s, or doing karaoke at our house during the holidays with our extended family. We would have a big party every year and my extended family talked about how much fun it was every time we came together.
My mom will be greatly missed by our family every day, but her love and her life lessons and generosity of spirit will live on in us forever! — Janette