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BRADEN, MCKINLEY - age 91, of Knoxville, passed away on Saturday, February 7, 2014. McKinley lived over 9 decades and truly represented America's greatest generation. He was born in Blue Diamond, Kentucky, the son of a coal miner. He lived through the Great Depression and was a United States Navy Veteran, serving in the 73rd Sea Beas from 1942 to 1945. In 1947, he became an Ordained Deacon and was an active member of Central Baptist Church of Bearden from 1985 to present. He was Trustee of Harrison Chilhowee Baptist Academy (King's Academy) for many years and funded the McKinley Braden Student Center there. McKinley was a member of Acacia Fraternity, serving as advisor for 9 years, Chancellor Associate of University of Tennessee, Board member of University of Tennessee College of Human Ecology, University of Tennessee President's Club member, and University of Tennessee Century Club member. He started Braden's Furniture business in 1956 as a wholesale only business, was President of National Wholesale Furniture Association, President of Associated Furniture Distributors, which is a national buyers association. McKinley was a member of Burlington Masonic Lodge, member of Scottish Rite, and Shriner for over 50 years. He served on the Salvation Army board, Baptist Hospital board, Chairman of the Better Business Bureau, Campaign Chairman for the Knoxville United Way in 1980, and served as Chairman of the Board of Knoxville United Way in 1982. McKinley will be remembered as a person of great integrity. Through incredible sacrifice, hard work, and a strong belief in God, he is survived by and left a legacy for the great love of his life, Mildred, his bride, best friend, constant companion, and helper of 71 years. He is survived by his only son, Gary, who took over from McKinley as President of Braden's Furniture; daughter-in-law, Karen, who he loved so much; 3 grandchildren; Nicholas, Natalie, and Alexander; granddaughter-in-law, Ashley; grandson-in-law, Lincoln; great-grandchildren, McKinley, Crawford, twins Isaiah and Emory, Jeremiah; loving sisters Audrey Livingston of Powell and Janet Dake of Nashville, and future granddaughter-in-law, Breyna, recently engaged to Alexander. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Central Baptist Church of Bearden, with celebration of life to immediately follow at 4:00 p.m. Committal services will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 2104 at 11:00 a.m. at Highland Memorial Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 502 S. Gay Street, Suite 401, Knoxville, TN 37902. Please sign Mr. Braden's online register book at Highland Memorial Funeral Home, 5315 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. 865-588-0567

Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Feb. 10 to Feb. 11, 2014
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