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In Memoriam: Karl Kinanen (1927-2017)

In Memoriam Karl Kinanen (1927-2017)

On Friday, the 19th of May – after living a life marked by great ambition, intellectual curiosity and abiding altruism – Karl Kinanen, a beloved member of the McMaster community, has passed away.

May 25, 2017

Karl Kinanen retired from the School of Social Work and Gerontology in 1992.  The Gerontology Program (now within the Department of Health, Aging & Society) was administered by the Office of Gerontological Studies (now Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging). 

Karl initiated the focus on Aging Studies at McMaster in 1979 through an innovative and popular interdisciplinary Gerontology course, listed under the Faculty of Social Sciences.  He introduced the involvement of senior class assistants; still a valued component of current Gerontology courses. He organized the Office on Aging to promote research and teaching collaborations across the university with Ronald Bayne (Geriatric Medicine) in the early ‘80s. 

Karl’s teaching and administrative work led to the establishment of the Gerontology undergraduate degree program and development of its many courses along with interdisciplinary connections throughout the university and across local community and social services for older adults. He also initiated the successful Summer Institutes on Gerontology which contributed to the training of health and social service professionals in the Hamilton/Burlington/Toronto/Niagara area for over 25 years.

Karl, who was born in Finland, immigrated to Canada as a young social worker and came to McMaster through his success in Community Social Work. A model for resilient aging, Karl excelled in Cross-Country Skiing winning races at the Masters level, nationally and internationally, well into his 70s.

Visitation will take place on Thursday, the 1st of June from 12:00-1:00 PM at Smith’s Funeral Home, 1167 Guelph Line, Burlington; service to follow at 1:00 PM.