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A Tribute To Richard Kiniry

By Ali Perelman, Committee Person, Div. 13

Richard Kiniry Committee Person, Div. 13

Richard Kiniry, 76, who passed away on Dec. 18, was one of the best people I knew: smart, a voracious reader, and always armed with a sharp retort. More importantly, he was deeply kind and unendingly thoughtful.

Richard had the best stories. When he was in India with the Peace Corps, his mother, a committee person in Montgomery County, mailed him absentee ballots for every election. A seminary dropout, Richard was a prolific stained glass artist and served for more than two decades as Spiritual Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society. He was deeply invested in the Ethical Culture movement, and remained active in the Ethical Society as Leader Emeritus until his death.

Chatting with Richard about his life made canvassing fly by, which was important, because he knew everyone in our division so our canvasses took forever.

Richard was a Machine Inspector for more than 30 years. Working Election Day brought him tremendous joy. Over the last couple of years he worked when he really shouldn’t have, but there was no convincing him otherwise. And he was probably right; seeing his friends from the neighborhood always made him feel better and more energized, even late into the evening. Everyone was happy to see Richard.

We started this job together in 2014 and the idea of doing it with someone else makes me incredibly sad. This work meant so much to him.

Please hold Richard in your hearts. He was the best.