Gene was welcomed by his Lord on Sept. 1, 2018, after a short illness at the age of 94. He departed this life as he lived it, with peace and grace. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who always taught quietly and by example.
Gene was born Dec. 16, 1923, in Dallas, Texas, to Hiram Foster McKinnie and Emma Rebecca (Booher) McKinnie.
After graduating from Sunset High School in Dallas, Gene enlisted in the United States Navy, and served on the USS Hornet (CV-12) in the Pacific Theater from 1942-1945. Gene was assigned to the SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber Squadron on board the Hornet and served as an aviation radioman during his tour receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross with five stars as well has the Presidential Unit Citation.
Following his discharge, he returned to Dallas and graduated from SMU with a business degree. He worked as a property tax manager for Sears Roebuck and later the Xerox Corp. until his retirement.
Gene was a dedicated Christian and loyal servant of the Calvary Baptist Church in Dallas, where he was a teacher and deacon. Gene was a lifelong resident of Dallas, having moved to Ardmore, in 2014, to be near family.
His memory will be cherished by his wife of 70 years Patricia; his son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Lynda McKinnie; grandsons, Ryan McKinnie and wife Nichole, and Michael McKinnie; two great-granddaughters Carlie McKinnie or as Gene would say, “There’s the prettiest girl in Ardmore,” and Angie McKinnie whom he loved dearly.
We would like to give special thanks to Gene’s beloved care givers, Elvia Martinez and Bonnie Thompson. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the kind, compassionate care given by the staff of Mercy Rehab in Ardmore, in particular, Director Meredith Ladd, and staff members Laura, Bruce and Heather for the loving kindness and compassion shown to our loved one.
A time of visitation and remembrance with military honors provided by the Navy will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, at Craddock Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made at craddockfuneralhome.com.