Lt. Col. Ivan L. McKinney, USAF, Ret. (1930 – 2019)

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Lt. Col. Ivan L. McKinney, USAF, Ret. (1930 – 2019)

Bossier City, LA – Devoted husband and father, Lt. Col. Ivan Lee McKinney, USAF, (Ret), 89, of Bossier City, Louisiana, died Friday, August 9, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Lt. Col. McKinney was born February 4, 1930, in Sophia, West Virginia, son of the late Henry B. McKinney and Malinda R. McKinney.

Lt. Col. McKinney grew up in Sophia, where he graduated Salutatorian of his class at Sophia High School, in 1947. In Sept. 1949, after completing a year of college at West Virginia University, he enlisted in the USAF, at the rank of Private First Class (Pfc.). He completed Control Tower Operator training in June, 1950 and was selected as Honor Graduate. He was then sent to Ground Control Approach (GCA) School, completing his training in July, 1951. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 1805th AACS Group.

In September 1952, then-Corporal McKinney stationed in Thule, Greenland was responsible for the “GCA save” of a British RAF aircraft with 12 crew and souls aboard, after the air crew’s two abortive attempts to locate the airfield in inclement weather and with insufficient fuel remaining. For his valor, Cpl. McKinney received Letters of Recommendation which earned him a spot promotion to Staff Sergeant and later afforded him the opportunity to attend and complete Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) in March, 1954. After graduating from OCS, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and returned to Newfoundland to wed Mary B. Mulrooney on March 28, 1954 in Corner Brook, N.L., Canada.

Surviving with his wife Mary of 65 years are their six sons, Leonard C. McKinney of Bossier City, LA, Blaine P. McKinney and his wife Becky, of Canton, MI, Mark L. McKinney and his wife Rhonda of Kingston Springs, TN, Paul D. McKinney and his wife Teresa of The Woodlands, TX, Douglas J. McKinney and his wife Maria of Tucson, AZ and Matthew J. McKinney and his wife Amy of Parker, CO. Ivan has 17 grandchildren; Justin Jeremiah Carland, Evan Taylor McKinney, Captain Austin McKinney and his wife Sara, Captain Connor McKinney, First Lieutenant Lucas McKinney and his wife Jenna, Rachal Lee McKinney, Allison Haley McKinney, Sophia McKinney Head and her husband Lucas, Paul Garretson McKinney, Noah Reagan McKinney, Isabelle Grace McKinney, Lidia McKinney Simpson and her husband Jason, Aaron McKinney, Stephanie McKinney, Nicholas McKinney, Alec Jameson McKinney and Lauren Elaine McKinney. Ivan also has two great-grandchildren; Sonja Simpson and Leia Simpson. Ivan was preceded in death by his brother, Sherman McKinney and his sister, Eva McKinney.

Lt. Col. McKinney earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Eastern Michigan University, in 1965. In 1972, he earned a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He was a Distinguished Graduate of the Air War College in 1974. In 1981, he earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from Louisiana Tech University. During his military career, Lt. Col. McKinney instructed as an Assistant Professor at El Paso Jr. College in Colorado Springs, CO, the University of Maryland, Memorial University of Newfoundland, CA, the University of Oklahoma and Louisiana Tech University.

Earning the aeronautical rating of Master Navigator, Lt. Col. McKinney accrued more than 4,000 hours of flight time in twelve different types of aircraft, mostly KC-97 and KC-135 aerial refueling “tankers”. During the Vietnam War, Lt. Col. McKinney flew more than 100 hours of combat or combat support missions. Lt. Col. McKinney served as an Air Operations Officer, Instructor Navigator, War Plans Officer, Director of Logistics and various Wing, Squadron, Crew and Base Operations Staff leadership positions.

During his military career, he was awarded many medals and citations, including the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Group Commendation Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and Vietnam Service Medal.

After his retirement from 27 years of active duty in April 1976, he began a successful 22 year career as an Investment Advisor in Shreveport, LA for EF Hutton, Dean Witter Reynolds and later co-founded a private firm. While working in the investment community, he was an active member of the Shreveport/Bossier Exchange Club. In 1998, he fully-retired and remained an active volunteer in many community organizations. Given his dedication to preserve our nation’s proud military heritage, he joined the Retired Officer’s Association (TROA), served on the Board of Directors for the Ark-La-Tex Chapter of the Military Officer’s Association (MOA), served as Treasurer and President of the 8AF Historical Society (8AFHS) and was both President of the Louisiana Chapter and Southeast Regional Vice President of the Air Force Association (AFA).

Through the AFA, he was deeply involved in the awards of numerous scholarships to promising young men and women of character, with many recipients currently serving as military officers. In 1989, he was named AFA Member of the Year. He was a charter member of Bossier City’s Krewe of Gemini and served as the first Duke of Texas. For more than 20 years, he volunteered as a member of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Posse and was an avid RC model aircraft builder, enthusiast and member of Sharks RC Club of Shreveport. He and Mary raised their sons in the Jesuit tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and were parishioners of St. Jude Catholic Church.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12:00PM Saturday, August 31, 2019, at St. Jude Catholic Church in Benton, LA with Rev. Karl Daigle, celebrant. Ivan donated his remains to LSUHSC, Shreveport, LA yet will receive military funeral honors. Immediately following these proceedings, a reception will be held at the Church.

The family wishes to extend its most sincere thanks to the caregivers from Home Instead Sr. Care of Shreveport, especially Dorothy George and Chris Barnes, as well as Brandi Ratliff, RN and Jennifer Franklin, CNA of Southern Care Home Hospice Agency of Shreveport.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests Memorial contributions may be donated in Lt. Col. McKinney’s honor, with checks made payable to the LA Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Mailing Address: 831 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71104. Donations can also be made online at www.alz. org.