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Published: Tuesday, 5/9/2006

Archbold resident owned beauty salon in her home

ARCHBOLD, Ohio - Judy A. Kinsman, who ran a beauty shop in her home here for 27 years and more recently was the bookkeeper and office manager for her family's propane distribution business, died Saturday in her home. She was 63.

She died of breast cancer diagnosed in February, 2002, said a son, Lynn Kinsman.

Born Judy Aeschliman in Wauseon, she graduated from Archbold High School in 1961 and studied cosmetology at a school in Fort Wayne, Ind., before opening her own salon in West Unity, Ohio, in 1962. She moved her business home in 1974 so she could supervise her growing family while at work.

"Us kids knew most of her customers," Mr. Kinsman said. "They watched us all grow up."

She met Merlin "Mert" Kinsman on a fix-up arranged by a friend, and they married in 1963. Lynn Kinsman said that unbeknownst to everyone, his mother kept the friend's letter introducing Mr. Kinsman to her - it was found in her papers after her death.

In 1989, Mr. Kinsman bought a propane truck and some storage tanks and went into business, with his wife as a co-owner. Kinsman Propane now employs seven and has about 2,000 customers, Lynn Kinsman said, and it was the reason that Mrs. Kinsman closed her beauty salon in 2001. The office work was consuming increasing amounts of time, and ultimately she had to choose one job or the other, her son said.

"She was very people-oriented. She loved to talk to people - she was just a natural for that job," he said.

With her husband serving on the Fulton County Fair Board, Mrs. Kinsman became active by assisting with the fair's clerical work, and the couple traveled often, especially in the western United States, Lynn Kinsman said. They often visited relatives in Arizona and Hawaii, and took an Alaskan cruise three years ago, he said.

"She really enjoyed going out and seeing the country," the son said.

In later years, Mrs. Kinsman also devoted considerable time to her grandchildren - shopping, playing, and generally interacting with them, he said.

Surviving are her husband, Merlin Kinsman; sons, Rodney, Lynn, and Michael Kinsman; mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Aeschliman; brother, Max Aeschliman, and six grandchildren.

The body is in the Short Funeral Home, Archbold, where the family will receive visitors from 3 to 9 p.m. today. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in St. John's Christian Church, Archbold.

The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Williams and Fulton Counties or Relay for Life of Fulton County.



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