Elsie and Donald met when she was only 17 years old and married 6 weeks later right after her 18th birthday. Donald was a sailor on leave and Elsie was home taking care of her ailing mother and two younger brothers at the time. Their honeymoon was spent traveling to Donald’s next post, where they found a place to make a home together.
Elsie hated her middle name Gertude and had it officially removed from her name later in life. She and Donald spent all of their time together. During WWII, Donald and Elsie traveled from San Diego, California to the Shores of the Eastern United States in order to be together before he shipped out. She then made the long drive to Tacoma, WA with her two children in tow, waiting out the war with her parents. Prior to the war they bought a piece of land where they built a small house themselves with whatever materials they could find or afford, but she didn’t complain. After the war they settled in Long Beach, California, eventually building a home in Lakewood. To her these experiences were an education and priceless adventure. And it was this adventurous spirit that prompted Don with the support of Elsie to open a business in television repair.
King TV was opened in 1953 on Artesia Boulevard in Long Beach, California and gave Elsie and her beloved Donald another chance to be together every day as well as save for an early retirement in 1974, where that time together would last for another 33 years. Devoted to each other, they were married 71 years before Donald passed away in July of 2007.
Grandma and Grandpa McKinney were the ideal couple, completely devoted to each other when most marriages failed or were strained. They spent their retirement years taking care of each other, golfing, traveling around the United States in their 5th wheel visiting family, and taking the senior fun bus to Reno to gamble their pennies, nickels and dimes they saved for just that purpose.
Elsie is preceded in death by her beloved Donald, her parents and 9 siblings: Christian (1911), Elizabeth (1982), Esther (1912), Emma (1995), an infant brother (1914), Herbert (1978), Raymond ((1969), Robert (1967), Richard (1925). She is survived by her two children, 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren. She will be dearly missed by all her surviving family and friends. But we know we will see her again. In the meantime, she is now with her Donald whom she has missed more than life itself.
Graveside services will be Saturday, November 19, 2011 at Tonaquint Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. Family and friends may attend a viewing from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the LDS Stake Center, 1184 N Dixie Down Rd, St. George, UT.