On Sept. 2, 2018, William Ray McKinnis, of Charlotte, passed away at his home with hospice care due to heart failure complications.
A native of McDowell County, Bill was born to the late Robert Lee McKinnis and Maggie Bright Long McKinnis.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded by his wife of 62 years, Nancy; and his daughter, Barbara; as well as his stepbrother, Gene Long. Bill, known as "Bud" to family and friends in McDowell County, attended Pleasant Garden High School and was a standout on the men's championship basketball team that played in the NCHSAA State Finals held at Cameron Indoor Stadium. He attended Western Carolina University and Indiana Technical College in Drafting. A veteran of the United States Army, he served from 1953 to 1955, with posts stateside and in the Panama Canal Zone, where he was a member of his unit's basketball team. For much of his career, he worked as a technician in the textile manufacturing industry and later in chemical sales. His positions gave him an opportunity to travel throughout the United States, Canada and abroad to France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand.
As a resident of Charlotte and Indian Trail, he spent his free time with Nancy and "the girls" enjoying their time together by gardening, boating, square dancing and traveling, especially enjoying vacations at the beach. Bill was an outgoing person who enjoyed meeting people and was involved in community activities though his local church and the Shriner's organizations. After retirement, Nancy and Bill spent many happy years RVing and making friends throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, eventually settling in Lakeland, Fla. In his final years, he supported his wife with unwavering love and devotion while she strived to recover from complications from orthopedic surgeries. After Nancy's passing in June 2018, Bill relocated back to Charlotte to be near his family.
Bill leaves behind his two loving daughters, Elizabeth McKinnis Poston, husband, Alfred, and their son, Eason, and Carolyn McKinnis, all of Charlotte; two sisters, Jeanette Graves and Ann Hunter of Winter Haven, Fla. He will be missed by many family and friends in both Florida and North Carolina.
A private service will be held Friday, Sept. 28, at 12 p.m., at Heritage Funeral Home of Matthews, with entombment at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Matthews. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Shriner's Hospital for Children.
Heritage Funeral Home of Matthews is serving the McKinnis family. An online guestbook is available at www.heritagecares.com.