Remembering Clarence Kinzler
Clarence Kinzler, 88, of Nampa, Idaho, passed away 15 October 2023. He was a retired district superintendent who led the Northern California District from 1984 to 2001. He also served as a minister in Kansas, Idaho, and California.
Clarence “Clari” Kinzler was born to Floyd and Gladys Kinzler in Valley City, North Dakota, and later raised in Nampa, Idaho. He graduated from Northwest Nazarene College in 1957. He received a Bachelor of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1962. In 1992, Point Loma Nazarene University conferred on him the Doctor of Divinity honorary degree.
While in seminary, Clari was the founding pastor of the Shawnee, Kansas, Church of the Nazarene. From there, he went on to pastor Arlington Avenue Church of the Nazarene in Riverside, California, and College Church of the Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho.
In 1984, he became superintendent of the Northern California District, where he served for 17 years. Clari served on the Board of Regents at NNU while pastoring College Church and on the Board of Trustees for PLNU while serving in Northern California.
He was awarded the Alumnus of the Year award from NNU in 2000 and, in June 2009, was honored as the first recipient of NNU’s Wesley Order of Servant Leaders award. Since retiring in 2001, Clari served various interim and part-time roles, including as pastor of San Diego First Church of the Nazarene, superintendent of the Northwest Oklahoma District, and pastor of the McCall, Idaho, Church of the Nazarene.
Clari was one-half of the tandem that affectionately became known simply as “Clari and Sue.” Together, they impacted countless lives with their love and care. Clari loved his wife and his kids, especially his grandkids.
He loved keeping his cars and shoes clean and shiny. He loved to play, watch, and talk sports. He loved to “hold court” on the deck, at the coffee shop, or in the boardroom, and he loved to talk to anyone and everyone about their strengths. Most of all, Clari loved Jesus and lived his life to bring him glory.
He is survived by his wife, Sue Kinzler; daughter, Becky Fredrickson; son, James Kinzler; brother, Bud Kinzler; and seven grandchildren.