Birth: June 27, 1920
May 23, 2012
New Mexico, USA
Funeral services for Eileen Thorn McKinley will be conducted on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm at Faith Lutheran Church.
Eileen died peacefully early Wednesday morning, May 23, 2012, at Presbyterian Kaseman Hospice Unit of Albuquerque with family members at her bedside.
Eileen Jeanette was born June 27, 1920, in Stanley, Wisconsin, the fifth of eight children born to Elmer and Hannah (Olson) Thorn, both of Norwegian descent. Eileen was raised on the family dairy farm in a three-bedroom house with no electricity or running water. She attended grade school at the Otter Creek Country School. She graduated from Stanley High School in 1938. She went on to obtain a teaching certificate at Eau Claire Teaching College in Eau Claire, WI, and subsequently taught grades 1st through 8th in a one-room school house. She met her future husband, William (Bill) H. McKinley, in Eau Claire, and they married in Stanley, WI on December 28, 1940.
Soon after the birth of their first son, Warren, in 1941, Bill was called to serve in the Army in World War II. By 1947, Eileen had a daughter, Sandy, and another son, Rodney, in 1948. In 1949, after twenty-nine years in Wisconsin, the family moved to Syracuse, New York, where two more sons, James (1950) and Tom (1953), were born. In 1957, Bill and Eileen moved to LaGrange, Indiana. In 1958 Eileen gave birth to their sixth child, William McKinley III. In 1966 the family moved to Albuquerque, NM, where the family ran a successful engine business.
Eileen was a devoted wife, loving mother, and true role model for the women in her family. Besides being a homemaker, she was also an avid reader, staying abreast of current events, news, and family happenings. She was a friend to many and one who could laugh, discuss, and share experiences on many levels. Everyone in her presence felt special: if you were fortunate enough to be at her kitchen table chatting with her, you felt like the most important person in the world. She also enjoyed gardening and yard work, and loved to spend time at their cabin in northern New Mexico.
Eileen was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, past member of Self Help for Hard of Hearing (SHHH), and participated in a medical research study on macular degeneration with Johns Hopkins Medical School. She became a candidate for a cochlear implant in 1996 when she lost all hearing. After receiving the cochlear implant, she had the unique experience of having to learn to hear again. Eileen became an avid supporter of the Presbyterian Ear Institute of New Mexico, which provides a unique program where children with hearing loss learn to communicate using spoken language.
Memorials in Eileen’s memory are requested to Faith Lutheran Church, 10000 Spain Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111, or the Presbyterian Ear Institute, 415 Cedar St. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106.
Survivors include her six children and spouses, Warren (Jean) McKinley of Wolcottville, IN, Sandra (Rick) Parker of Albuquerque, Rodney (Ellen) McKinley of Scottsdale, AZ, James (Cathe) McKinley of New Palestine, IN, Thomas (Cynthia) McKinley of Indianapolis, IN, and William (Martha) McKinley of Parker, CO; sixteen grandchildren and spouses, Matthew (Melanie) McKinley, Mary (Frank) Robinson, Andrew (Mary) Parker, Jared (Sarah) Parker, Christian Parker, Amy McKinley, Bryant (Amy) McKinley, Amanda (Thad) Hubbell, Abigayle (Ryan) Hensley, Kathryn McKinley, Victoria (Tyrone) Greenwade, Diondra McKinley, Connor McKinley, and Casey McKinley; and 20 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Mildred Thorn of Okemos, Mich.; special niece and goddaughter, Karen Vaughn; as well as numerous other nieces and nephews.
Eileen was preceded in death by her husband Bill in 1986, as well as the death of her seven siblings, Orville, Hanford, Alice, Carla, Lillian, Doris, and Marian.
Services and cremation are under the care of Daniels Funeral Homes, Albuquerque.
WC 652 Paid obituary