Danny Douglas Kinnard, Sr., beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at Banner Baywood Medical Center, in Mesa, Ariz., on Monday, May 6, 2013, at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Evadel; children, Leanne (Mrs. Dean) Jacquez, Danny Kinnard, Jr., Brenna Kinnard, and Erin (Mrs. Russell) Thompson; four grandchildren, Erica, Jason, Sarah, and Grace; and a brother, Charles M. Kinnard of Euless, Texas.
Danny was born Aug. 12, 1934, in Superior, Ariz., to Dan and Mildred (Cole) Kinnard, who moved to Miami soon after his birth. He was nicknamed “Corky” for the “Gasoline Alley” comic strip character, because of a little curl at the top of his head.
Danny graduated from Miami High School in 1952 and attended ASC (now ASU) in Tempe. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1955, and was stationed in Korea and Japan. When he returned to ASU in 1958, Danny met Evadel “Eva” Frederick, a Miami native and 1957 graduate of Miami High School.
They were married in Danforth Chapel on the ASU campus on Nov. 26, 1958, and lived in Phoenix while Danny attended morning classes at ASU and worked full-time afternoons and evenings. They had two children by the time he received his bachelor’s degree from ASU in 1962 and returned to Miami to teach advanced math at his alma mater, Miami High School.
He received his Master’s degree from ASU in 1965, and moved his family to Yuma, where two more children were born. Danny taught mathematics at Arizona Western College, and was granted an early Sabbatical to increase his knowledge of data processing before returning to Yuma to become the first Director of Data Processing at AWC. In 1973, he went to Roswell, N.M., to help New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) set up its first computer center. Afterward, he was offered the newly-created position of Director of Data Processing at NMMI, which he accepted.
Throughout his career, Danny held leadership positions in professional organizations and helped other small colleges set up their own computer systems. Soon, he was invited to go into business with a young Roswell investor whose wife had taken his classes and been impressed with his abilities.
Together, Danny, Eva, and their benefactor/partner founded the POISE company (People Oriented Information Systems for Education), which developed administrative software based on their proprietary POISE Data Management System and was eventually used in educational institutions across the USA (including Alaska and Hawaii), and in Canada and Puerto Rico.
Beginning with a staff of five, the company consisted of more than 40 employees by the time it was sold in 1990. Soon afterward, the Kinnards returned to Arizona and settled in Mesa. Danny suffered a disabling brain stem stroke in January 1991, just a few days after their final move from New Mexico.
Despite his serious health problems, Danny remained a fighter, overcoming many obstacles while retaining his sense of humor and continuing to enjoy his computer, his hobbies, and the companionship of family and friends throughout his lifetime.
A Memorial Service was held for Danny Douglas Kinnard, Sr., on Saturday, May 11, at Bunker’s University Chapel, in Mesa, Ariz.