Robert "Papa" McKinney, Sr.
Robert "Papa" Mckinney, Sr. died, at the home he built, at age 93 “he was the oldest living person he knew.” “A man is only as good as his word’ was one of his favorite sayings and he lived by those words. Robert was a Christian man of great honesty and integrity, a true southern gentleman.
Robert was the proud son of Lawrence and Grace Mckinney of Little Switzerland. He was a brother to Guy, Mildred, Nina, Jerry, Ralph, Evelyn and Nancy. He was a devoted husband to Sandra. He was always her protector and confidant. They were each other’s best friends and shared many years of love and laughter, often at each other's expense. They enjoyed spoiling their grandchildren, bible study, watching Jeopardy, genealogy and chatting on the front porch.
He was a role model to his children, Lawrence, Becky, Libby, Sharon, Angela, Emily and Cassandra. He adored his grandchildren, Jamie, Brandy, Maria, Jay, Elliott, Austin and Marcus, 7 great grandchildren, and a great great granddaughter, Ryleigh. Robert was a master craftsman and built many homes in McDowell and Burke County with his crew Junior, Burl and Lee.
He loved old cars and boats not classics just old. He thought they needed at least 100 thousand miles on the odometer, be able to haul children, tools, and trash. A comfortable back seat for napping was a requirement for a “good car”
He spent many hours with his best buddy, Herb. They enjoyed fishing the coves of Santee Cooper, Lake James and Rhodiss.
He appreciated good food and “his body called” for fresh vegetables, fried cabbage, bologna, eggs, Hardee's gravy, Hunters liver mush, Vienna sausages and catfish. He shied away from bread unless it was on either side of a vine ripe tomato with Dukes mayonnaise.
Robert spent Friday mornings at Bi-Lo and produce stands shopping for all the grandchildren’s favorites just in case they stopped in for the weekend. He always made sure milk was in the fridge, Zero bars and canned Pepsi were a plenty. His “specialties” were Papa’s Noodles and Papa’s soup. The soup recipe was a carryover from grade school in Little Switzerland.
He drove way too fast but never had an accident or ticket. His driving did prompt his passengers toward a prayer. His grandson Marcus has always said,” if everyone was like Papa the world would be just perfect.” Papa had a wicked sense of humor. He was not stubborn or contrary, his way was just better and right. He had an infectious grin, and a charitable heart.
A celebration of his life will be held in the Chapel of Beam Funeral Service on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. led by his Friend and Pastor, Coy Jeans. The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. A Private Family Graveside service to follow, In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to Chestnut Grove Church, Po Box 218, Little Switzerland NC 28749.
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