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Lt. Col. Tom H. McKinney Jr., USAF (Ret.)

McKinney, Lt. Col. Tom H. JR. USAF (Ret.)
1932 - 2013. Tom H. McKinney, Jr. passed away peacefully on June 28, 2013 at the age of 81 in Santa Cruz, California. He was born to Tom H. McKinney and Thelma McKinney in 1932 in Del Rio, Texas. Tom grew up in Del Rio until 1946, when his family moved to Williams, Arizona. He graduated from Williams High School in 1949. In 1953, he earned a business degree in accounting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Upon graduation from Baylor, where he was a member of the ROTC, Tom entered the U.S. Air Force. In 1956, he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan. It was there that he met and married Loretta Foster of Henderson, Nevada in 1959. When he returned to the States, Tom was one of three Air Force officers chosen to attend a new Pricing Program at Michigan State University, where he earned his MBA. He was assigned to the Auditor General's staff at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. In 1966, Tom and Loretta's daughter, Lisa Ann, was born at Andrews Air Force Base. In 1973, after 20 years in the Air Force, Tom retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, and moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona. Tom loved Arizona, especially Northern Arizona, and its people, history, and land. Tom was preceded in death by Loretta in 1995. Tom married Phyllis Hope Pierson in 1999. Tom's and Hope's families knew each other when the McKinneys lived in Williams. Tom leaves his wife Hope, daughter Lisa Ann McKinney (Peter Pondolfino), and two stepsons Brian Pierson (Mary Kay Pierson), and Travis Pierson (Michael Grizzi). Tom also leaves his brother William Nelson McKinney (Barbara McKinney) and his sister Betty McKinney Northern (Roy Northern), a brother-in-law, Paul Roy Pelletier (Juana Pelletier), and five grandchildren -- Katie Grace Pondolfino, Sam Foster Pondolfino, Olivia Hope Pierson, Audrey Dona Pierson, and Alexandra Bess Pierson, as well as six cousins and eight nieces and nephews and several great nieces and nephews. Interment will be in Williams, Arizona. Memorial contributions can be made on Tom's behalf to The Sedona Historical Society, P.O. Box 10216, Sedona, Arizona 86339; www.sedonamuseum.org. Rest in Peace Tom. You have left us with a rich legacy of memories, and they will be our joy.



Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 4, 2013
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