Ben Jack Kinney

Captain Ben Jack Kinney, USN (Ret.),died on 16 November 2009 in New Braunfels, TX, ending his long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77 years old. A native of Austin, TX, he attended the University of Texas for three years before receiving his congressional appointment to the Naval Academy. A member of the 17th Company, he was commissioned on 1 June 1956. At the Academy, Ben Jack wrote and directed the Musical Club show, sang with the “N-A Ten” a cappella choir, was head cheerleader and captain of the handball team.


Naval aviation was Ben Jack’s primary military duty. He served two tours in VP-47, one in VP-28, and had command of VT-2. In 1960, he developed his sub-specialty training as a computer specialist, later earning his MS in computer systems management. He utilized his computer expertise on the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff at Offutt Air Force Base NE; Headquarters European Command in Stuttgart, Germany; and Deputy to the Director Wide World Military Command and Control Systems in greater Washington, D.C. He remembered duty in Hawaii as aide and flag lieutenant to Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Roy Johnson, as the most gratifying.


Retiring from active duty in Washington, DC, in 1982, he founded a small computer company, Xebec Corporation, and began a wild roller coaster ride in the “beltway bandit” world. In 1987, tired of corporate and governmental bureaucracy, he returned to Texas to restore his wife’s historic family home. There, at the Karbach Haus, Ben Jack and Kathy successfully operated a traditional bed and breakfast for 15 years.


Survivors include his wife of 53 years, the former Kathleen Karbach  of New Braunfels, TX; son, John Kinney and his wife, Jill of Tiburon, CA; daughters, Karen Gregory and her husband, David of Portola Valley, CA, and Kathryn Harris of Bellevue, WA; brother William G. Kinney Jr. and his wife, Patricia of Houston, TX; and nine grandchildren. Ben Jack was predeceased by his youngest son, Roy Taylor Kinney. Ben Jack’s wishes throughout his life were to help others in any way possible. In keeping with these venerable goals, Ben Jack’s body has been donated to science. A celebration of Ben Jack’s life was held at his family home, The Karbach  Haus, 487 W. San Antonio St. in New Braunfels, TX, on 18 November 2009. The Kinney Family