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Lilas Janice Shelby Kinch

Obituary for Lilas Janice Shelby Kinch

October 5, 1942 - November 1, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 76

Obituary

Lilas Janice Shelby Kinch, born October 5, 1942, passed away on November 1, 2018. Lilas was born in Abilene, TX, the daughter of Frances and McDalton Shelby. Lilas grew up in Austin with her older brothers, Donald and Robert, and younger sister Judith. She graduated in 1960 from McCallum High School, where she met her future husband Sam E. Kinch, Jr., whom she married in 1963. In 1964, she graduated from the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Lilas and Sam lived in Washington D.C. from 1964-70, before returning to Austin to raise their three children, Keary, Sean, and Ashby. Lilas worked on several political campaigns, including the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, before enrolling in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at U.T. in 1976. After earning a perfect grade point average at the LBJ School, Lilas started her career at the City of Austin in 1978, beginning on the staff of Councilwoman Betty Himmelblau and later in the Department of Public Works. Lilas wore many hats for the City of Austin. She led the implementation of Total Quality Management principles in the early '90s and later spearheaded the City's Y2K transition.

A member of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin since 1970, Lilas helped organize the congregation's daycare program and served on a variety of church committees. Through Covenant, Lilas became active in Stephen Ministries, a program that exercised her native gift for empathy and her abiding faith to bring comfort to others. Lilas and Sam lived out an ethic of radical welcome, whether hosting friends and family for months at a time, or simply making sure there was enough food for an unexpected guest.

A born adventurer, Lilas loved to camp with her family in Texas state parks and thrived as a Girl Scout troop leader. She also enjoyed the thrill of travel to new places, which she would avidly study in preparation for trips. She and Sam traveled the world, spending long vacations in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia, where they made many new friends, in no small part due to her infectious and disarming smile. Lilas and Sam also traveled to visit their grandchildren, making the rounds to Washington, D.C., Nashville, and Missoula, where she reveled in the pleasures of the next generation.

She is survived by three siblings, three children, and six grandchildren: Amani, Shelby, Griffin, Samuel, Katherine, and Helen.

A memorial for Lilas will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Saturday, November 10, at 5:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations of any size to the "Lilas and Sam Kinch, Jr Endowed Excellence Fund for Plan II" at the University of Texas at Austin. Your gift will support students in the Liberal Arts honors program though a permanent endowment. An online link is here: http://giving.utexas.edu/KinchMemorialEndowment.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations of any size to the "Lilas and Sam Kinch, Jr Endowed Excellence Fund for Plan II" at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Your gift will support students in the Liberal Arts honors program though a permanent endowment. An online link is here: http://giving.utexas.edu/KinchMemorialEndowment.

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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