Harry "Gene" McKinney obit photo


Island City

Harry Eugene “Gene” McKinney, 83, of Island City, died Nov. 16, 2021. A funeral service will be held Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel, Island City.

Known as Gene, he was born Feb. 28, 1938, in Weiser, Idaho, to Harry Jess McKinney and Lottie Rachel (Slyter) McKinney. He married his elementary and high school sweetheart, Shannon Joy Bateman, in the Idaho Falls Temple on July 27, 1956.

Gene lived in Weiser for a short time after he was born, then lived in Oregon for the rest of his life, with the exception of a year in Tucson, Arizona, while attending the University of Arizona. He then returned to La Grande to finish his degree at what is now Eastern Oregon University.

Gene and Shannon spent 18 months in Australia while serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, of all the towns he lived in, he considered Union his hometown.

Gene started his working career as a teacher for a few years. Then he sold NY Life Insurance from 1964-2016. He also worked and retired from the U.S. Postal Service.

His greatest and most loved “job” was his service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served many years in Bishoprics and was on the High Council for even more years. He loved to serve and share the gospel truths to those he came in contact with.

As a youth, Gene enjoyed playing sports, football being his favorite. As an adult, he loved the games of handball and racquetball. He also loved being outside and was an avid fly fisherman and hunter. He was happiest when he was outside, working with his hands or teaching family members how to fish and/or hunt.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Shannon McKinney; children Shawna Romito, Keri Myer, Kyle McKinney, Forrest McKinney, April McKinney and Brooke Kreutz; 31 grandchildren and 60 great-grandchildren; and countless nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Lottie McKinney; sisters, Carol Burchert and Donna Johnson; and many brothers- and sisters-in-law.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.loveland funeral chapel.com.

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