Nathan B. McKinney

Nathan B. McKinney, 99, of Bellmead, died Monday, December 24, 2018 at his son’s home in McLoud, Oklahoma.

Funeral Service:  3:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at Lake Shore Funeral Home, 5201 Steinbeck Bend Rd, in Waco

Nathan was born February 6, 1919 in Waco to Nathan B. McKinney, Sr. and Elsie Pippin McKinney. He attended Waco schools and graduated from Waco High.  Nathan then went to serve his country in the U.S. Army Air Corp and later the Air Force as an aircraft master mechanic during WWII in Africa and in the 451st Bombardment Group in Castellucci, Italy. He continued his service during the Korean War and had assignments in various parts of the world prior to his retirement.  Nathan was a member of the Charter Chief Hall of Fame and was among the first 625 enlisted men to be promoted to the new pay grade of E-9 in December of 1959 from a pool of 60,000 master sergeants.

While stationed in Italy during WWII, Nathan had the rare opportunity of an audience with Pope Pius XII.  The Pope placed his hands on Nathan’s head and prayed for his safety and long life; in later years, Nathan credited this blessing by the Pope for his longevity.

Nathan retired from the military in 1960 having earned a Bronze Star, three Presidential Unit citations, the Europe Africa Middle East Campaign medal with ten bronze stars as well as other citations.

In 1945, he was introduced to Clara Harrell.  Six months later, they were married and were together for 56 years until her death in 1999.

Nathan is survived by his son, John Michael McKinney and his wife, Patricia, of McLoud, Oklahoma; his sister, Billie R. McKinney Porter of Waco; and many nieces and nephews as well as three step-grandchildren.

Lake Shore Funeral Home & Cremation Services

5201 Steinbeck Bend Dr
Waco, TX 76708
United States (US)
Phone: (254) 752-5900

Place of Service: Lake Shore Funeral Home , 5201 Steinbeck Bend; Waco, TX 76708

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Condolence Messages

  1. Sorry to hear of his passing. He was a passionate man who cared for others. I enjoyed the many fruits of his garden over the years and listening to many of his stories, when he was in the service. He truly will be missed! My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  2. Steve Sappington

    Nathan and Clara were so special! Clara would give us tips on gardening and cooking. Nathan was so knowledgeable on so many topics. He and I would talk politics, history, farming and “Okrahoma,” as he called it. Mike, may God comfort you as you adjust to life without your dad’s physical presence.

  3. Prayers and love for the family

  4. I got to know Nate from attending the bomb group reunions over the years. At last years reunion in Dayton, I was lucky to get a guided tour from him of the National USAAF Museum and great information on many of the “birds” he kept flying. I asked him what he owed his longevity to? While working 15-18 hour days in Castellucio as line chief for the 727th Squadron, his superiors insisted he get some R&R. While on leave in Rome, he got a tour of the Vatican from a Cardinal, who asked if he’d like to meet the Pope, and was subsequently blessed. Thank you for your service sir, and my heartfelt condolences to the family.

  5. Mr. Mckinney, lived next door to my family house since the early 60’s. I inherited that house about 5 years ago. As I live in Houston I only visit Waco every 2-3 weeks. Each trip I enjoyed visiting with Mr. McKinny who alway was willing to have a visitor to share vegetables, encouraging words, and interesting stories regarding war history history of his life and Waco/ Bellmeaede. My family and I were very blessed to have him in our life . We will dearly miss him!! He was a remark-
    able man!!

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