Obituary: Ron Kinney, Founder of All-Phase Electric Supply

Dec. 12, 2013
Kinney was a remarkable man with an insatiable drive to one day be the biggest distributor in the United States.

One of the electrical industry’s consummate entrepreneurs passed away this week. Ronald Franklin Kinney, 82, passed away peacefully at home in St. Joseph on Monday, Dec. 9, according to his obituary posted at the Starks Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services web-site.

Kinney built All-Phase Electric Supply from a single building that was previously a A&P supermarket into one of the nation’s largest electrical distributors. When the company was acquired by Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED), Irving, Texas, in 1999, the company was ranked as the eighth largest distributor in the United States, with 1,469 employees, 93 branches and $570 million in 1999 sales. Anyone who ever did business with Kinney will remember him as a man with extraordinary energy and drive.

His obituary said in part:

“Born July 17, 1931, in Benton Harbor, Mr. Kinney had a long and extraordinarily full life. A graduate of St. John’s Catholic High School in Benton Harbor and John Carroll University in Cleveland, he served in the U.S. Navy for two years, achieving the rank of lieutenant (j.g.) in the Naval Supply Corps.

Proud son of John J. and Magdalene M. Kinney, and following in a long line of local entrepreneurs that began with his great-grandfather, Patrick M. Kinney, Mr. Kinney achieved remarkable success as the founder of All-Phase Electric Supply Co., Inc. He was featured three times on the cover of the industry’s leading trade publication (Electrical Wholesaling magazine), and was a recipient of the National Association of Electrical Distributors’ “Distinguished Service Award.”

“His memory will forever be cherished in the hearts of his wife of more than 60 years, Eva; his five surviving children: Lisa Kinney Hoover (Todd), Marla Kinney, Richard Kinney (Françoise), Stephen Kinney (Susan) and Maureen Kinney (Scott Hicks); and his 11 grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Jack Kinney, and was preceded in death by his other brother, Patrick Kinney. He also leaves behind his beloved sister-in-law, Joanne Portaro; his longtime personal assistant, Peg Harmon; his nurse-assistant, Julie Stephen; and an exceptional team of caregivers.”

Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph (online memory book at, followed by a prayer service at 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Joseph. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lake Michigan Catholic Monsignor Sears Scholarship Fund, Birthright of St. Joseph and Hospice At Home (Lakeland HealthCare Affiliate).