Harriet Whitaker Kinder

August 20, 1930 - May 16, 2020
Harriet Whitaker Kinder

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A portrait of a lady

Harriet Whitaker Kinder died at her home on her farm in St. Clairsville she loved on May 16, 2020. She was attended by her two surviving children, Duncan Campbell Kinder and Elizabeth Hall Whitaker Kinder, both of St. Clairsville. Eighty-nine years old, born on August 20, 1930, she was the youngest and last surviving child of the late Marie Stifel Whitaker and George Parks Whitaker, of Wheeling. Her husband, John Campbell Kinder, of St. Clairsville and her eldest son, Gordon Dyche Kinder, III of Bellingham, WA, had predeceased her. Her oldest brother, John Oesterling Whitaker, co-pilot of a B-17 bomber died when it was shot down during the Regensburg raid of October 1943. Her other siblings, Jessie Edgington Parks Whitaker McClure, George Parks Whitaker, Jr., and Louis Stifel Whitaker, were all well-known members of the Wheeling community for many years. Her husband, John C. Kinder, practiced law first in Martins Ferry and then in St. Clairsville. He led the fight against unregulated strip mining and discovered Dysart Woods. Before returning to the Ohio Valley to live on the farm which both he and she loved, he had worked with the United States Central Intelligence Agency and a law firm in New York City.
A member of the Fort Henry Club of Wheeling as well as the Belmont Hills Country Club and Tuesday Night Clubs of St. Clairsville, she belonged to the Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum Committee, Stifel Scholarship Committee, Chairman of the Wheeling Garden Club, and was a Master Gardener.
A graduate of Pine Manor Junior College and Wellesley College, she had a strong attraction for Princeton men, as not only her father but her husband, both her sons, brothers-in-law, uncles, nephews and countless other relatives attended that university. However, her brothers, her grandfather, and many other relatives attended Kenyon College. Directly decended from Isaac Chapline, who had landed in Jamestown in 1610 and was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Chapline’s wife, Mary Calvert, was sister to the first Lord Baltimore. Harriet was also directly decended from Abraham op den Graeff, cousin of William Penn and signatory to first organized religious petition against slavery in the colonies, the 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery. The Kinder family, into which she married, has ancestors who landed on the Mayflower. Not only the youngest, but also the most bookish of her siblings, she more than held her own amongst that high-spirited crew. She was an avid gardener.

She is survived by her two children and by numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Due to social distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus epidemic, no large visitation or ceremonies presently will be held. Rather, presently, only intimate remembrances will be held. Private visitation and ceremonies for the family and close friends will be held soon. A memorial service will be held at a later date in St. Matthews Episcopal Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Charity of the Donor’s Choice.

Share your thoughts and memories of Harriet with her family at carechapel.com.

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  • May 20, 2020
    Mickey Lewis says:
    Harriet will always be remembered for her lovely smile and charming personality. She was a good friend of my mother-in-law, Marcy Lewis, and made me feel welcome to my new home of St. Clairsville. Although we left Ohio in the 90’s, we would hear about Mr. & Mrs. Kinder from our parents. My sister did become a part of the women’s group, The Tuesday Night Club which Harriet contributed to greatly. It was a pleasure to know her and to hear about her accomplishments in St. Clairsville. So sorry to see her demise, and want to express our condolences. Mickey and Dave Lewis

  • May 21, 2020
    Butch Miller says:
    Duncan, So very sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • May 21, 2020
    Charlotte Hill says:
    Oh the joy your mother brought to our Tuesday Night Club meetings, she would delight us with her thoughtfully researched paper and tickle us with her responses to our roll calls. She would share her vast knowledge of gardens, plants, antiques or travel if prompted. She was a gift to all of us. Condolences Libby and Duncan

  • May 31, 2020
    Barbara Hinkle says:
    Duncan, I send my thoughts and prayers on your mother’s passing. May God Be With You.