A well-known Carthage gentleman, Mr. Michael McKinley, was found deceased at his Ward Avenue home on Saturday afternoon February 8, 2020. He was pronounced dead at the Riverview Regional Medical Center E. R. in Carthage at 6:20 p.m. at the age of 70.
Mr. McKinley’s pastor, Rev. Leslie Wayne Whitlock, officiated at the 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon February 16th funeral services from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home. Burial followed in the McKinley family plot in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Smith County Memorial Gardens.
The son of longtime Carthage Town Councilman, James Ernest “Jim” McKinley who died January 29, 2005 at the age of 87 and Mary Betty High McKinley who died May 10, 2016 at the age of 91, he was born Michael Wallace McKinley in Carthage on July 14, 1949 and derived his middle name, Wallace, from his mother’s brother, Clint Wallace High Jr.
Mr. McKinley was a 1967 graduate of Smith County High School and was the first student from Turner High School to enroll at Smith County High School following the integration of the two schools in the fall of 1965. While at Turner he played basketball and baseball was class secretary his freshman and sophomore years, was a district debater and at Smith County high School he majored in agriculture and science, was a member of the pep club, chorus and participated in the Spring festival and Fall festival both in his senior year.
He attended the Tennessee State University in Nashville for three years.
Mr. McKinley retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority and held other jobs, but his most rewarding was serving as an umpire for many years with the American Legion Little League in Gallatin, Tennessee.
His favorite pastimes were playing poker, golf, traveling and most of all attending his grandchildren’s games.
Mr. McKinley was a member of the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Surviving are his son, Michael Scott McKinley; daughter, Hope McKinley; grandson, Jalen Duke; granddaughter, Elizabeth Brandon; aunt, Ruth Key Abernathy; sister-in-law, Billie Sue McKinley; niece Kimberly Parker; two nephews, David and Patrick McKinley.