Mrs. Ernestine Ezell Kinsey, age 84, died Monday, May 9, at her home in Lee. Visitation will be held at Lee First Baptist Church on Tuesday May 10th from 6-8 PM. Funeral services will be held at Lee First Baptist on Wednesday, May 11th at 11 AM.
Ernestine was born in Archer, Florida on February 24, 1927 then moved to Lee, Florida with her family in 1931. Her parents were the late William Berry Ezell and Candace Missouri Williams Ezell. Ernestine married Simon Abe Kinsey, Jr. of Lee, in 1945.
Ernestine was an active member of Lee Baptist Church. Among many responsibilities through the years, she taught Sunday school at Madison First Baptist Church, East Hill Baptist in Tallahassee and at Lee First Baptist for over 50 years.
She graduated from Madison County High School in 1944. She went on to attend Florida Southern in Lakeland where she earned a BA in Education and then earned her Masters in Education from Florida State University.
Ernestine taught elementary school in Madison for five years, moved to Tallahassee with her family in 1965 and continued in education as a classroom teacher and media specialist at Sealey elementary. After retiring from the Leon county she moved back to Lee in 1985. She worked as a media specialist at Lee, Greenville and Pinetta elementary schools, establishing library programs in each school. She retired from her education career in 1993.
After her retirement from education, Ernestine became involved in the Lee community. She was appointed to the Lee Town Council and the council elected her Mayor in 1995. She served as Mayor until her resignation November 2010. Ernestine felt the time she served as Mayor was one of the most rewarding periods in her life and was very proud of the accomplishments that were made during those years. She was Madison County Citizen of the Year in 2000. Ernestine is survived by her husband of 65 years, Simon Abe Kinsey, Jr., three sons, Bobby Kinsey (Debbie) of Lee, Fl; Abe Kinsey (Ann) of Oyster Bay, FL; William Kinsey (Wanda) of Crawfordville, Fl and one daughter, Candy Sisto (Tony) of Las Vegas, Nv. Her grandchildren are Kelly Kinsey Noonan (Jeremy), Casey Kinsey (Erin), Shannon Kinsey (Courtney), Angela Kinsey Gilbreath (Larry), Abbey Kinsey Smith (Brian), Alisha Kinsey, Ashley Kinsey, Austin Kinsey and Justin Brooks Sisto (Jennifer). Ernestine is also survived by four sisters, Frances Keyes, Juanita Baxley (Stanley), Montene Bennet, and Patricia Rowell (Auley) and two brothers Ronnie Ezell (Carol) and Shelby Ezell ( Betty). Her oldest brother Charles and two brothers in law, Frank Bennet and R. B. Keyes preceded her in death.
Ernestine was blessed with 10 great-grandchildren; Samuel, Lucy, Lydia, Wyatt, MaKenna, Shay, Brielle, Eden, Josiah, and Peyton. She was anticipating three more great-grandchildren this year.
Her loving caretakers for many years were Sharon Valdez and Eula Donaldson.
Ernestine Kinsey was a woman of great faith, character and integrity who loved her family unconditionally.