Ann Chinn

A memorial service will be held on Saturday April 14, at 1 p.m. (visitation at noon) at the Northminster Baptist Church for Ann Chinn.

Chicago native and long-time Mississippi resident of Jackson, Ridgeland, and McComb, Ann Chinn, a recipient of the Mississippi BlueCross/Blue Shield Ageless Hero Award, died February 22 at her daughter’s home in Texas. She was 94.

Mrs. Chinn was imbued with a lifelong love of learning, arts, and travel. She was an avid painter and traveled the world in her later years, finding subjects, primarily churches, to paint and draw. Fearless in her educational endeavors and in nurturing others, Ann Chinn was indeed an Ageless Hero whose explorations and accomplishments accelerated in her 70s and 80s. Although, she attended a number of colleges as a young and middle-aged adult, including the Art Institute of Chicago in fashion design, it was not until her early 70s that she obtained her bachelor of arts degree from Mississippi College, graduating summa cum laude in 1997 at the age of 74. She remains the oldest graduate of Mississippi College. In the ensuing years, her china painting pieces were twice selected for display in national china painting publications and museums.

Mrs. Chinn loved to interact with young people, and provided an open and loving home to many foreign exchange students from Switzerland, Columbia, Australia, Sweden, Africa, and Brazil. In her golden years, her passion to learn about other cultures led her on extensive journeys throughout Europe, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Brazil, and the Galapagos Islands. She studied water color painting in the south of France and Barbados, walked the steps of Jesus in Israel, and at the age of 77, went on safari in Kenya. She kept extensive journals of each trip complete with her own photographs of the lands and people she met on her adventures.

Mrs. Chinn, daughter of Nils Heiberg, a Norwegian immigrant, and Clare Mabel Maxwell, a native of Rickardsville, Iowa, was born and raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Her lifelong husband, Rollin Chinn, was a mechanical engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad, whose job took them to McComb, during the first eight years of their marriage. The Chinns fell in love with Mississippi and after Mr. Chinn’s transfer to Chicago in 1959, the family made annual visits to McComb during Easter and summer holidays. After her husband’s death in 1988, Mrs. Chinn moved back to Mississippi, and lived in Jackson from 1990 to 2010 and in Ridgeland (at The Waterford) 2010 to 2017.

Ann Chinn was devoted to her family. She is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren including Mark Chinn (Cathy), an attorney in Jackson, and their children, Courtney (Sam Peters), grandchildren Savannah and Marshall, Casey (Evan Hawes), Carly, and Conley; Martha Clare Morris (the late James Morris), and their children, Clare (Peter Crowley), Laura (Darcy Marr), grandchildren Nolan and Kelly, and Patrick (Rachel), grandchildren Maxwell, Colin, and Haley; and Sandra Chinn. 

Memorials may be made to the Ann Chinn Scholarship Fund at Mississippi College, in care of Barbara Brown King, Direction of Development Services, Box 4005, Clinton, Miss., 39058.