Van Alstyne Public Library
Local History - Newspaper Clippings
Van Alstyne Leader
10 February 1927
JOHN VERNA McKINNEY
John Verna McKinney was born at Van Alstyne, Texas, on January 17,
1895, the son of
Mr. and Mrs. Jack H. McKinney. He grew into manhood at the
place of his birth, and except
for the time when in the service of his country, about two years
during which he lived at
Sherman, and during his stay at the hospital at Legion, Texas, preceding
his death, maintained
his residence here.
At the age of eleven, he confessed and became a member of the First
Christian church, retaining his adherence to that faith until his death,
and re-consecrating himself at the time Mrs. McKinney became a member of
that church. He passed away following a long illness, at the government
hospital at Legion, Texas due to having been gassed and to wounds received
during the world war, on Monday, January 31, 1927.
When the United States entered the world war, Mr. McKinney was one
of the first of the young men of this section to be sent to France, serving
in the 7th division of the American Expeditionary Force as a member of
Company I, 55th Infantry, from July 17, 1918 until May 27, 1919, at which
time he re-enlisted, returning to this country, and being stationed at
Camp Funston, Kansas, until May 27, 1920, when he was given an honorable
discharge from the army.
On September 5, 1923, Mr. McKinney was married at Sherman, Texas,
to Miss Marie Sisk of Van Alstyne, and until 1925, was a resident of that
city, he being connected with the Sherman Produce Company. His health
forced him to resign his position, and except for two or three brief visits
at his home at his home at Van Alstyne, he spent the time until his death
at the government hospital at Legion.
Surviving are Mrs. McKinney and their 2-1/2 years old daughter, his
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack H. McKinney, two brothers, Ward McKinney of
Big Lake, and Hershel McKinney of Van Alstyne, and a number of other relatives.
* * *
Funeral services for John Verna McKinney were held at the First
Christian church on Thursday, February 3, following the arrival on Wednesday
of the body from Legion. Rev. Leo Johnston, former pastor of the
church, but now the pastor of the Central Christian church at Greenville,
and Rev. G.C. Brewer, the pastor of the Walnut Street church of Christ
at Sherman, officiating at the services. Both ministers in delivering
their impressive eulogies, spoke with the benefit of a close personal acquaintance
with the deceased,
and the tributes which they gave to his exemplary life and Christian
character were of the highest and most commendatory nature. It was
with them and with the large gathering of friends of the deceased and his
family who were present, an occasion when the heartfelt expression of grief,
the inevitable sequence of death, was accompanied by an abundance of cause
for assurances that there was finished in the life of John Verna McKinney
an epitome f devotion to the ideals of the Christian and of the professing
believer and an exalted type of manly character in all of his other earthly
relations, which even under the pall of
stillness and on the verge of the return of his mortal remains to
their native element, afforded hope and inspiration to those who would
profit from the example set by him, and assurance that in the land of rest,
the benediction of the faithful had been bestowed as his spirit took its
place in the halls beyond the river.
* * *
Following the ceremony, interment was had at the Van Alstyne cemetery
in the presence of a large gathering of friends and beneath a mound upon
which many floral offerings, mute evidence of love, and esteem, attested
the sorrow felt, alike by relatives and friends.
Many out-of-town friends, among them a number of the comrades-at-arms
of Mr. McKinney were in Van Alstyne to attend the funeral, all joining
with the friends at home in sympathizing most sincerely with the family
and relatives of Mr. McKinney in the bereavement which has come to them.
Pallbearers were as follows:
Active - Herbert Parish, Carlyle Moore, W. M. House, L. C. Hartwig,
Lee Kinard, Jeffie Means.
Honorary - Members of the American Legion Posts and ex-service men
of Grayson and Collin counties.