Arthur Edward McKinneyApril 26, 1923 ~ June 15, 2017 (age 94)
Never has “The Greatest Generation” been more embodied than in the person and character of Arthur Edward McKinney, who Thursday evening surrounded by family and loved ones went home to be with his Heavenly Father. This generation was characterized by their perseverance through difficult times as a testament to their extraordinary character. Born and raised in a tumultuous era marked by war and economic depression they developed values of personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith. This is certainly true of Arthur and his contributions to his country, family, church and community.
Born April 26, 1923 in Burnsville, North Carolina Arthur began his life as one of eight children to Reuben and Lily Ellis McKinney, brothers; Joe, wife Rose, Mac, wife Lucille, Jay, wife Mildred, and Mitchell, wife Pearl, sisters; Mae Fox, husband Poly, Flossie Cheek, husband Lee, and Glennie Childers, husband Tobe.
As a young man he began his service to his country with tours in the United Kingdom, Germany Belgium and Luxembourg during World War II. He served in the 29th Signal Company as a Technician Fifth Grade (TEC 5), holding the title of Corporal. While serving he received 4 Bronze Service Stars, the EAME Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and WWII Victory Medal.
While his service to his country was one of his greatest honors, it was his family that was his greatest treasure. He married his soul mate and best friend, Allene Wheeler on August 22, 1953. They welcomed three children; Terri Lee McKinney Miller, wife to Roger Miller, Jeff McKinney and Mindy Benfield of Hickory and Mark McKinney husband to Melissa, five grandchildren; Jessica Mills, wife to Matt Mills, Draia Garavito of Raleigh, wife to Eder Garavito, Caydon, Jordan and Coleton McKinney and one great grandchild, Callen, during their almost sixty-four years of marriage. They were valued and loved members of the Zion Hill Baptist Church and community for over fifty years.
As Arthur passed from this life to the next he was greeted at the gates of Heaven by his parents, siblings, daughter Terri and grandson Caydon along with countless other saints who have gone on before him. Services will be held at Zion Hill Baptist Church with Arthur’s brother in law Dr. Jack Clagett of Kernersville conducting the services alongside his pastor Dr. Tom Walker on Saturday, June 17, 2017 with the family receiving family and friends’ condolences from 10-11am and the service immediately following. Arthur’s family will lay him to rest in McDowell Memorial Park where he will be honored with a full military service. Beam Funeral Service is assisting the family during this time, and gifts in memory of Arthur can be made to The Miss Terri Rainbows and Sunshine Children’s Fund (make checks payable to West Marion Elementary PTO), Gideons International or Hospice of Rutherford County.