Loretta was born July 2, 1946, to Lucille and James Kinzer of Fries. She was a caring soul who noticed the small things that made a big difference. As a child, she saved her lunch money to buy tires for an old bicycle so that she and her little sister Diana both had a bike to ride. Loretta was blessed with a green thumb and always knew the tricks for growing more tomatoes or how to transplant flowers. She loved watching The Twilight Zone! She was a wizard with her sewing machine. Her knack for creating special something with fabric and thread that always fit the recipient was nothing short of magical. If she knew you liked horses, she would make you curtains or a bedspread with a beautiful horse-covered fabric.
She had a way of making little things seem grand. She told the most amazing stories about simple things. In her later years, she had a knack for making you feel seen and loved without saying a word. She was always willing to extend a helping hand whether you needed a loan, essential goods, a place to stay for a few nights, or a home-cooked meal. She loved to champion others in their pursuits. She would cheer you on at a volleyball game, learn to play tennis so she could hit balls with you, give you a standing ovation at a dance recital, or even muck out your horse’s stall. Loretta showed up for people.
Loretta held Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from Radford University. She was a gifted teacher in the public schools for many years. She even taught her nephew Allen Shawn in grade six. She then decided to shift her career to RU. At RU, she worked in leadership roles in both human resources and career services. In her 20-plus years at RU, it was the community that she loved to serve. She excitedly told stories about the students she helped find their dream jobs. Whether volunteering for Meals on Wheels, leading a Girl Scout troop, serving on the board of the juvenile detention center, or mentoring international students at RU, her smile and can-do attitude were infectious. Loretta was delighted to spend time with her grandchildren, and she was very proud of their achievements.
She is survived by her daughter, Marcy Criner; son-in-law, Martin Kikegawa; daughter, Emily Mann; son-in-law, Brian Mann; and her greatest joy her grandchildren, Cassidy, Andrew, and Dylan Mann; her sister, Diana Bond; her brother-in-law, Roger Bond; her brother, Allen Kinzer; and sister-in-law, Wilma Kinzer. And numerous nephews and a niece. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Lucille Kinzer; and oldest brother, James Elwood Kinzer.
A Celebration of Loretta’s Life was held in the Highlander Room at the Dedmon Center in Radford Thursday, Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Marcy couldn’t have cared for Loretta for the past two-and-a-half years without the incredible support from the following two organizations. The love and support they provided was immeasurable.
In memoriam gifts are requested for: The Engagement Center for Creative Aging at Virginia Tech https://ads.hdfs.vt.edu/giving and Pulaski Adult Day Service: facebook.com/pulaskiadultdayservice/
The Kinzer family are in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.