MARION

Sherman Carl McKinney, Jr., of Marion, North Carolina, passed away on February 23, 2019, at Rose Hill Retirement Community.

Carl was born on May 24, 1931, to the late Sherman Carl McKinney and Mary Whitson McKinney Collis. One of three children, Carl attended Gardner Webb University where he studied business. After his college years, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1955. While in the military, Carl worked on highly classified programs that ultimately served to assist the NASA space program. Carl worked for IBM in Charlotte, NC, for over 35 years and was a brilliant strategist and computer engineer.

He married Barbara Cooper in 1959, and together they raised two sons, Sherman Carl (Mac) McKinney, and Charles Brant McKinney. They had a happy and wonderful marriage until her untimely death in 1988. In 1995, Carl married Barbara Staton Stroud, of Marion, North Carolina.

They shared many wonderful adventures traveling together and were almost inseparable. Even in his latter days, when he was so very sick, he always managed a smile for his "Nani Bari." Carl loved so many things of this life. He loved math. Having struggled with math as a child, he set his mind to learn it from the most basic beginnings and he made it his goal to master it! That he did he was proficient at algebra, geometry, and calculus and had a vast library of books, tapes, and CDs to assist him in this endeavor. Carl loved magic. He spent hours studying this subject and became proficient at the art. Carl loved to debate most any topic. He enjoyed listening to other's opinions and to share his views as well. Poetry was a deep passion in Carl's life. He wrote many poems some deep, reflective, and serious and some quite humorous. He treasured this earth seeing so much beauty in the little things: a leaf, a bug, a tree, the sunset he would spend hours watching wildlife in his backyard, always in awe of nature. Carl loved his family. He was loyal, devoted, and compassionate to those he cared for. Carl adored his Sunday School class, Fishers of Men, of Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church, where he and his wife, Barbara, are members. Most of all, Carl had a deep respect and love for the Lord. He always referred to Christ, as "Mr. Jesus," and found his Savior to be the cornerstone of his life.

He was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Debbie McKinney; and his brother, James McKinney. Left to mourn his passing are his wife, Barbara S. McKinney of Marion, North Carolina; his son, Sherman Carl (Mac) McKinney III and wife, Tetiana; and son, Maksym of Charlotte, NC, Charles Brant McKinney, of Charlotte, NC; Carl's grandchildren, Haley McKinney, of Charlotte, NC, and Christopher McKinney, of Hilton Head, SC; a sister, Anne Goodson, of Jackson, Tennessee; stepson, Gary Stroud and wife, Beverly, of Marion, NC; stepdaughter, Vicki Blake and husband, Dennis, of Marion, NC; step-grandson, Brandon Blake and wife Misty; and three step-great-grandchildren of Abingdon, VA. Many other family members, nieces, nephews, and friends will miss Carl as well.

Carl had many caregivers over the past five years that assisted with his care. Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, and declining health robbed him of so much of his love of this life. A special thank you to Rose Hill Retirement Community. Tracy, Nancy, Lisa, George, and Janice, and the excellent staff on the second floor, which loved and cared for Carl for over three years. You went above and beyond to make Carl's last months and years on this earth the best they could be. What you do is more than a profession, it is a calling. You cared for him, loved him, and treated him always with respect and dignity. We could not have had better care for him. Also, a special thank you to our evening sitters, Nina, Becky and Kellie. What a blessing you have been. Thank you for your sacrifice of time and your loving care. Lastly, our heartfelt gratitude to Rutherford Hospice. Your services added another level of care for our loved one. Thank you for making his transition to heaven an easier journey. These folks are angels in the flesh.

Beam Funeral Home and Crematory will be in charge of the services which will be private. Should you wish to honor Carl: in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, P.O. Box 336, Forest City, NC 28043 (www.hocf.org); and/or Fishers of Men Sunday School Class of Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church, 214 P.G Baptist Church Road, Marion, NC 28752.

Beam Funeral Service & Crematory is assisting the McKinney family. For further information and/or to sign the online guestbook, please visit our website, www.beamfuneralservice.com, or call (828) 559-8111.

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