Cremation Society of Kansas & Missouri
8837 Roe Avenue
Prairie Village, KS 66207
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1935 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
James C. McKinley, a Kansas City writer, editor, journalist, and professor who inspired generations of students, died on March 28, 2015, at Kansas City Hospice House after a two-week hospitalization for a blood disorder. He was 79. A memorial will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, at The Writer's Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Kansas City, Mo. Jim was born in Omaha on Dec. 8, 1935, the only son of Harold McKinley and Kathryn Anderson. He was raised in Chicago and St. Louis, where he graduated from Southwest High School in 1954. In 1959, he earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and psychology from the University of Missouri. After a short stint in the U.S. Army, he went into advertising, working first as a copy supervisor for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati and then as an account executive for Young & Rubicam in New York. He quit the advertising business in 1966 to become a writer and teacher, returning to the University of Missouri to study English literature. He received a doctorate in 1970 for a dissertation on the war poetry of the British writer Robert Graves. From 1970 until his retirement in 2003, he was a beloved professor of English at University of Missouri- Kansas City, teaching literature, modern drama, creative writing and journalism. Beginning in 1986, he was also the editor of New Letters Magazine and the director of the university's professional writing program. Jim published three books of short stories: "Acts of Love" in 1987; "The Fickleman Suite and Other Stories" in 1993; and "The Moriarty Papers and Other Stories" in 2004. His novel, "The Woman in the River," was published in 2002. He is also the author of "Assassination in America," a history of political killings that appeared in 1977, as well as dozens of articles for publications like Esquire and Playboy, among others. His biography of Robert Graves, completed in the late 1970s, was never published. For four decades, he was married to Mary Ann Underwood, and is survived by their four children: James C. McKinley Jr., Molly McKinley, Jesse McKinley, and Gabriel McKinley, as well as six grandchildren. He is also survived by his wife, Glenda McCrary, whom he married in 2008, and her two children, Melinda McCrary and Mike McCrary. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kansas City Hospice House or The Writer's Place. (Arr: Cremation Society of KS & MO, 8837 Roe, Prairie Village, KS 66207; 913-383-9888) Cremation Society of Kansas & Missouri, www.kccremation.com
Published in Kansas City Star on Apr. 1, 2015
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