Donald Lee McKinney was born Dec. 18, 1927 to Bert Edward and Emma Lucy (Doty) McKinney near Ames, Okla. He departed this life March 20, 2013 at the age of 85 years, 3 months and 2 days.
At the age of 13, Don moved with his parents and nine brothers and sisters to Inola, making it his home until his passing. He graduated from Inola High School in 1945 and then served in the United States Army Corps for a short period. He attended Draughon's Business School. His grades were so exemplary, that years later it was discovered his grades were still on a public bulletin board for all to see. Don worked at Texas Pipe and Metal Company in Borger, Texas. In addition, he was the Business Manager for a Baseball Team. Later, he worked in accounting at Aaron Tax Service and then Spartan Trailer Company.
In 1964, President Johnson appointed Don to the position of Postmaster at the Inola Post Office. He held that position until his retirement in 1987.
Don was a member of the Lion's Club and also worked as Volunteer Fireman in Inola. There were many times when he and others in the community were out fighting fires in the summer heat.
Donald Lee McKinney and Carol Arlene White were united in marriage on December 4, 1970. With this union, Don became not only a husband to Carol, but the father to Carol's three children. He definitely took on a big job raising three kids; but was a wonderful father and always did the best he could. He enjoyed gadgets, and was known for fixing things that had broken. Don was an outstanding carpenter and with the help of his brothers, built many of the homes that some of them live in today. Don and Carol enjoyed traveling to Postmasters' Conventions and taking their RV to the lake. Following retirement from the Post Office, they had some very good times seeing the country. However, the leisure of retirement was cut short in 1998 when Carol had a massive stroke. Don continued to care for Carol up until her passing in November 2010. Don had a wonderful sense of humor with a sweet spirit, even up until his last day on earth. He will be missed so much by all who knew and loved him.
Don is survived by three children, Danny White of Wichita, Kansas, Brent White and wife, Jill of Broken Arrow, and Kim Tankersley and husband, Ray of Bristow; nine brothers and sisters, Dorothy Thompson and husband, W.O. of Inola, Betty Mell of Inola, Alice Carpenter and husband, Kenneth of Inola, LaDonna Hutchinson and husband, Ray of Inola, Jimmie McKinney and wife, Margaret of Catoosa, Shirley Ragsdale and husband, L.J. of Sand Springs, Freddy McKinney and wife, Melba of Inola, Norma Waldrip and husband, Fred of Claremore, and Billy McKinney and wife, Carolyn of Broken Arrow; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Carol, and grandson, Mark White.
Funeral services are 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Inola United Methodist Church with Reverend Brent White officiating. Interment will follow at Highland Cemetery in Inola. Visitation will be 1-8 p.m. Monday at Inola Funeral Home with family there to receive friends from 4-8 p.m. An open visitation will be held Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Inola Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in the name of Don to the charity of your choice. Condolences may be made online at www.hutchinsmaplesfuneralhome.com