Jeanne Kinney, 85, Foreign Service Officer and wife of the late USAID FSO Bert Tollefson Jr., died on March 28 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Ms. Kinney was born on May 14, 1931, in Chicago, Ill. Her father’s automobile business took the family from Chicago to Milwaukee, Wisc.; and then to Short Hills, N.J.; Gary, Ind.; Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Ill. She graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Rock Island and St. Ambrose College in Davenport. After retiring, she earned a master’s degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Ms. Kinney began her government career in the Illinois State Attorney’s office in Rock Island. From there, at age 23, she went to Washington, D.C., to work for the Foreign Operations Administration, the predecessor of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Her overseas assignments during her career with USAID and State included Turkey, Vietnam, Morocco, Iraq and Lebanon. She survived the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut on Sept. 20, 1984, and received the State Department’s medal for heroism in Lebanon.
Retiring in Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz., she was active in the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Foreign Service Retirees’ Association and the Arizona Federation of Republican Women (she founded the Lincoln Republican Women’s Club). She also worked on alumni events in Phoenix for St. Ambrose College and Loyola University, and she was recognized for these services by both schools.
Her photographs of the Middle East were on display at the University of Arizona in Tucson’s Middle East Center and her photographs of Catholic churches in Arizona were printed in the Phoenix Diocese calendar for two years.
Ms. Kinney was preceded in death by her husband, Bert M. Tollefson Jr., who died in Sioux Falls, S.D.