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Ronald Wallace McKinney

Ronald Wallace McKinney

Ronald W. McKinney, 75 of Turtle River, MN, died suddenly Friday, August 9, 2013 at his home north of Bemidji on Turtle River Lake.

Memorial Services will be 2:00 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at the New Salem Lutheran Church in Turtle River, MN with Rev. Karol McCracken officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. His ashes will be interred at a later date. Arrangements are with the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.

Ronald Wallace McKinney and his twin brother were born to Wallace and Anita (Grabowski) McKinney on December 1, 1937, in Beatrice, Nebraska. He attended St. Joseph Catholic School and graduated from Beatrice High School in 1955. Ron studied at Peru State College in Peru, NE, and graduated from Nebraska State Teacher’s College in Kearney, NE, in 1962. His Masters and Specialist Degrees were earned at Iowa State University.

In 1960 he married Patricia Woodward in Grand Island, NE. They had three sons Mark, Todd, and Shawn. He taught chemistry and science in Barneston, and Odell, NE. In 1966, Ron and his sons moved to Harlan, Iowa, where for the next 35 years he taught industrial and vocational arts at Harlan community High School and Middle School. He helped establish the Trades and Industries program and placed hundreds of seniors in jobs in Harlan and other local communities. He retired from teaching in 1997.

Ron and Sara Lynne Costello were married in Randolph, Iowa, on July 18, 1970. They had two children, Shannon and Matthew. During their summer vacations from teaching, Ron, Sara, and kids moved to Bemidji, MN, where they built their home on the shores of Turtle River Lake. In the summer of 1987 they purchased Our Place Your Place drive-in restaurant in Nymore, which they operated seasonally for many years. After Sara’s retirement from teaching in 2002 they permanently moved to Bemidji and spent seven years traveling across northern Minnesota establishing their sales territory for Books Are Fun and making many new friends.

Ron loved the outdoors. He spent untold hours with his Dad, brothers, sons, and friends hunting the fields of northeast Iowa where quail, turkey, pheasant, and deer would find themselves in jeopardy. Fishing was another passion, and he especially enjoyed trading tales with other fisherman and imparting wisdom to all who would listen. His family meant the world to him, and Ron loved the times when children and grandchildren would gather at his lake home. He knew the best spot in the world was Turtle River Lake and each season of the year held joy for him. His other hobbies were carpentry, furniture making, water color painting, and Nebraska Cornhusker football. He and Sara traveled extensively, visiting twenty foreign countries. In July they celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary on a Baltic Sea cruise. He will be sadly missed by his loving wife, family, and friends.

In death Ron is joining his parents, and his infant son Shawn. He is survived by his wife Sara and his children: Mark (Janel) McKinney of Underwood, IA; Todd (Tammy) McKinney of Persia, IA; Shannon (Mark) Machacek of Westmont, IL; and Matthew (Michele) McKinney of Chanhassen, MN; ten grandchildren: Katie, Derek, Mitchel, Sean, Morgan, Mati, Nicholas, Anna, William, and Ryder; and three great-grandchildren: Emma, Donovan, and Cory. He also leaves to mourn his twin brother Donald (Sherrill) McKinney of Lincoln, NE, and younger brother Patrick (Gaye) McKinney of Charlotte, NC; his mother-in-law Elaine Costello, brother-in-law Richard (Catherine) Costello, and sister-in-law Susan Costello, all of Randolph, IA, many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and numerous friends.

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