Scott Paul McKinley, 68, of Old Town, FL, and formerly Crystal River and Gainesville, FL, passed away early Saturday morning, September 11, 2021, surrounded by his family and in the care of Haven Hospice of Chiefland, FL.
Scott was born on January 12, 1953 to father Paul George McKinley and mother Margaret Chewning McKinley, in West Palm Beach, FL, where he lived until 1961. Scott then moved to Gainesville, FL with his parents and older brother Mark McKinley (70), where he spent the rest of his childhood, going on to graduate from Gainesville High School in 1971.
Scott obtained an A.S. degree in Building and Construction Technology from Daytona Community College in 1975.
In early 1984, Scott married Karen Heck, and the two moved to Dunnellon FL, where he designed and personally built the family home, and soon after welcomed son, Miles Scott McKinley, on July 26,1984. Eighteen months later, Scott and Karen welcomed daughter Kellie Anne McKinley (Ambrosino), to the family on February 12, 1986.
As a Citrus County resident for over 40 years, Scott's remarkable professional legacy includes diverse contributions to the development of several large residential communities as well as significant county infrastructure improvements from the early 80's well into late 90's. Scott evolved from contracting supervisor to commercial real estate investor, and so remained for over 20 years. Scott's career left a notable impact on the Crystal River and Old Town, Florida communities.
In 2019 Scott purchased a second home in Marble, N.C., a 2.6 square mile rural town encircled by Blue Ridge mountaintops, and the Hiwassee and Valley Rivers. Scott enjoyed a "snowbird-style" residency between North Carolina and Florida which he based on seasonal preference and an ever-active social calendar. Scott was always on an adventure, providing only the most insightful and unforgettable conversation, entertainment and acute awareness of the best lunch spot along the way.
2020 brought a new conquest to Scott as he turned his sights towards Dixie County, in search of a piece of undeveloped native Florida. This ultimately became the culmination of Scott's selflessly and thoughtfully contrived legacy. By 2021, Scott called Six Oaks Farm of Old Town, FL "home", and enjoyed the small town southern hospitality; trail-riding via tractor, atv, or front-end loader; and taking in the sunrise and star-filled night sky views that never disappoint from his 80-acre farm.
Scott had many interests including travel involving nature - especially visits to the Florida State parks; planning and "supervising" the execution of projects of any sort; and quality time spent in good company with good conversation. Scott accumulated many friends who became family at the American Legion Hall #177 of Crystal River, Florida. Scott also enjoyed time spent with his grandchildren, children, tenants, neighbors at the farm, and striking up conversation everywhere along his way.
Scott will be missed by many and had a substantial and lasting positive impact throughout the community and the many lives he changed for the better along his epic journey.
Scott is survived by his son, Miles (37) of Crystal River FL, his daughter Kellie (36) and son-in-law Dennis (34) of Murphy NC; four grandchildren Destin (15), Nevaeh (12), Knox (18mo), and Carlie (9mo) of Murphy NC; his brother Mark and sister-in-law Donna McKinley of North Carolina, and step-siblings Jim, Anne and Katherine Trapp of Gainesville, FL.
To honor Scott's wishes, no traditional formal memorial service is scheduled, however, the McKinley family asks in lieu of gifts/flowers, that donations be made to the Florida State Park's "Plant a Pine" program in dedication of Scott McKinley. For every $1 donated in Scott McKinley's honor, a Native Florida Longleaf Pine is planted in one of Florida's State Parks.https://floridastateparksfoundation.org/DonateTrees
Arrangements were made with Strickland Funeral Home and Crematory, Crystal River, FL.
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Published by Citrus County Chronicle on Sep. 19, 2021.