Obituary of Barbara McKinney
Barbara Ann McKinney passed away August 17, 2018 at the Johnson Center in Falcons Landing, Potomac Falls, Virginia. Born January 3, 1924 to Lottie and John C. Neely in Wichita, Kansas, Barbara was the beloved wife of Joseph T. McKinney (Joe) and loving mother of Marilyn McKinney, Thom McKinney, Susie Doran and Cathy Sterling (Jack); grandmother of Christy Budd (Bill), Kimberly McKinney, Alek Ohlhausen, Helen Coburn (Seth), Richard Sterling, and Misty Doran; and great-grandmother of Caitlin Ray, Ashlynn Ohlhausen, Skyler Carbone, Deven Henley and Ian Coburn.
Barbara and her brother John Neely grew up in Wichita, attending elementary, intermediate and high school there. After matriculating at Wichita University for one year, she graduated in 1946 with a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Kansas where she was an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Barbara’s artistic talents – ceramics, drawing, fabric design -- flourished during her college years and provided a creative outlet for her throughout her life.
Barbara and Joe both grew up in Wichita and although they met in a baby contest it was not until Joe’s mother suggested he call Barbara Neely as a possible date for a friend during a weekend visit home from West Point that they reconnected. Hearing her voice on the phone, Joe decided that he would keep her for his own date. She accepted and the rest is history; they were married in Wichita on May 3, 1947 and recently celebrated 71 years of a loving marriage.
Their Air Force life began in Salina, Kansas before heading to Fairbanks, Alaska where Barbara, always ready for new adventures and not wanting to miss anything, was one of the few wives to accompany their husbands. Working as a clerk typist for the Corp of Engineers, she and Joe commuted 26 miles each day to the base from their small home (half a garage). Subsequent tours took them and their growing family to Albuquerque, Boston, Colorado Springs, Seattle, Ft. Walton Beach, Montgomery and Washington, DC before culminating tours of duty in the Philippines and Taiwan. Throughout many adventures as an Air Force wife and mother, she was always there for each member of the family, making the best of every situation, and reminding us that “home” was where ever we were stationed at the time. She made our home a warm and welcoming place for friends, relatives and new acquaintances, whether it was for Thanksgiving or a casual patio picnic in the backyard. Volunteering was a lifelong vocation, in support of the many hats she wore as mom extraordinaire, loving Air Force wife, fabulous flower arranger, and consummate community and church supporter.
Wherever she lived, Barbara found ways to practice and develop her artistic skills: sewing clothes for herself and her children, designing covers for Wives Club monthly bulletins, creating ceramic pieces, or refinishing antique furniture. She created beautiful dried and fresh flower arrangements for exhibit rooms in Dumbarton House, and altars at St John’s and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Churches in McLean and Sterling and the chapel at Falcons Landing. For years, Barbara designed and printed posters, birthday and get-well cards for residents in the Johnson Center on her computer. Numerous colored pencil drawings (many of flowers!) were shown in the various galleries at Falcons Landing and given to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 201 E Frederick Dr, Sterling, VA 20164 on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 1PM. A reception will follow the service in the Falcons Landing Auditorium, 20522 Falcons Landing Circle, Potomac Falls, VA 20165. Interment will be at Arlington Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in Barbara McKinney’s name to: 1) Falcons Landing Benevolent Fund, attn: Donna McKernin, 20522 Falcons Landing Circle, Potomac Falls, VA 20165-7595, specifying Chaplain’s Fund in a memo or note; 2) St. Matthew’s Rector's Discretionary Fund (http://www.stmtts.org); or 3) BrightFocus Foundation, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871 (https://www.brightfocus.org).
Our family would like to add a special thank you to all the incredible individuals who have provided smiling faces and care during our mother’s many years at Falcons Landing (dining, housekeeping, recreation, security, nursing, physical therapy), Johnson Center, Life Matters, Capital Caring Hospice, Lisa DeGilio and Dr. Ann Mecherikunnel.