Nancy Clifton Kinzer ’79

Nancy Clifton Kinzer crossed the threshold from this life to the next on June 28, 2022, at the age of 64.

Nancy was born to Almonese Brown Clifton and Thomas Woodard Clifton on November 9, 1957, in Dallas, Texas. She was the second of three children, including her sister, Deborah Clifton Van der Lande, and her brother, Forrest Bradford Clifton.

Nancy attended the Lovett School in Atlanta. She graduated from Davidson College in 1979 after spending her junior year in Montpellier, France. At Davidson she befriended Mark Kinzer, her future husband.

After graduation, Nancy moved to Northern California. She lived in Palo Alto, sold copiers, and learned to drive a stick shift on the hills of San Francisco.

In 1982, Nancy moved back to Atlanta just in time for the birth of her first niece and nephew, twins Heather and Bernard Van der Lande. Nancy worked as a computer programmer for Delta Air Lines before moving to the Delta Air Lines Foundation, where she worked in corporate philanthropy. During this period, she and Mark reunited. They married on November 10, 1990. They have two children, Emily Chesher Kinzer (26) and Benjamin Thomas Kinzer (23). Nancy would go on to work on fundraising campaigns for the United Way of Greater Atlanta, 7 Stages Theatre, and others. She was an alumna of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1995.

Nancy was a long-time member of Decatur Presbyterian Church, where she served as an elder. After many years as a stay-at-home mom, she heeded the call to serve God and enrolled at Columbia Theological Seminary. In 2007, her family decamped to England for the Fall semester so that Nancy could pursue religious studies at Westminster College, Cambridge. She received her Master of Divinity in 2011. During the course of her career, Nancy served at Trinity Presbyterian Church (Decatur, Georgia), Faith Presbyterian Church (Blue Ridge, Georgia), and Northminster Presbyterian Church (Roswell, Georgia). Her beloved congregants will remember Nancy for her generous heart, sound advice, and willingness to address difficult issues head on both in and out of the pulpit.

In her spare time, Nancy loved to read mystery novels, try new recipes, do crossword puzzles, and meet with the book club that she belonged to for more than 20 years. Nancy also had a knack for planning trips, and her family have many fond memories of traveling both in and out of the country with her.

Nancy is predeceased by her father, Tom Clifton; and her stepfather, Ralph Williams. She is survived by her husband and children, as well as her mother, Almonese (Nesie) Clifton Williams; siblings, Deborah Van der Lande and Brad Clifton (Carolyn); step-siblings, Ralph Williams III (Mary), Nancy Jane Morizio (Michael), John Williams (Susan); and her nieces and nephews: Heather Van der Lande Cummings (Andrew), Bernard Van der Lande, Ashley Van der Lande, Billie Clifton, and Thomas Clifton.

In her final chapter, Nancy showed an appreciation for the sacred in the mundane, gratitude for the life she had led, and resolute courage in the face of pain and death. She loved her family fiercely, both the living and those she held close in loving memory. Her husband and children will miss her terribly.

A memorial service will be held on July 9, 2022 at 11:00 AM. at Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Georgia, with a reception to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Kulea Music Institute, which Nancy supported with her time and talents in the closing months of her life.

Kulea Music Institute
71 Howard St., #5312
Atlanta, GA 30317.
CashApp handle: $KuleaMusicInstitute

Published by Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jul. 6, 2022.