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Clarence "Buck" William McKinney, Sr.

September 25, 1930 December 22, 2018
Clarence "Buck" William McKinney, Sr.
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Obituary for Clarence "Buck" William McKinney, Sr.

Clarence William (Buck) McKinney Sr.
Can you Imagine?
Let’s imagine for a moment, a 6’2’’ strong burly man, hands dry and stained from automotive grease and oils, carefully balancing his two 4 year-old daughters, one on each hip. He is rhythmically dancing around the family room listening to Hank Williams crooning, “Hey, Hey Good Lookin.” from the Hi-Fi stereo. He is singing aloud and dancing while his little girls laughter and giggling fills the room. Each time the refrain starts he turns toward his wife, with a knowing look and sings the words directly to her.
This same man, four years later decided to adventure with his wife to the islands of Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania on a four-month self-guided tour. In Australia, they purchased a used car, basic camping equipment, a food-laden cooler, and started out to explore those countries including the most desolate places where many natives had not received Americans before. That experience created lasting friendships across the world.
On a different occasion, while visiting the island of Oahu, this middle-aged man cajoled his wife to tour the Hawaiian island on the back of his motorcycle – riding on the sandy beaches, becoming stuck, rescued by his adult son and discovering sights not observed by the average tourist.
Buck was a man who had a superb sense of humor and demonstrated his love with actions. When his youngest daughter wanted to marry, he requested that the would-be groom “take a ride” one night. They drove the length of a long, dark, deserted road to a construction site full of large equipment. The young man was certain that he was facing mortal danger. Buck then stressed to the young man how he expected his daughter to be treated once they were married. Or else. They all laughed about that exchange for years afterward.
Buck was a complex man. A father to nine children, husband to Mary Helen for sixty-six years, businessman, airplane pilot, politician, boy scout volunteer, civil air patrol volunteer and Army veteran who served in the Atomic Energy program, Operation Ivy. He was gifted with the use of his hands and ingenuity. He was born in Bridgeville, Delaware, the youngest of eleven children born to Charles and Matilda (Witzke) McKinney. He loved his childhood spent farming in Bridgeville and Rehoboth Beach, being a helper in the family’s Old Faithful Hotel at 42 Rehoboth Avenue and building lodging on the family property in Punta Gorda, Florida. These experiences provided him with the strength of character to instill a strong work ethic in his children.
Early in his married life, he operated an ESSO service station in downtown Dover and later, started McKinney’s Transmission Service. He was an avid bowler, winning many trophies that he proudly displayed in his home. With his exceptional mechanical abilities, he gained a reputation for being able to repair any piece of equipment. He had deep friendships with his fishing buddies and enjoyed fish fry’s with family and friends following his fishing excursions to the 14-foot light in the Delaware Bay.
Later in life, he could be found supporting his children in their sports, marching and band concerts, field trips, auto-races and entrepreneurial endeavors. He had a strong sense of patriotism and community spirit. He, along with six of his children, volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol to find missing aircraft and during weather-related state of emergencies, bringing supplies to remote areas as well as transporting countless doctors and nurses from snowed-in homes to work at Kent General hospital.
Buck passed away on December 22nd (coincidentally his son Frank’s birthday) at home, from complications of liver cancer. Buck is survived by his wife, Mary Helen (Nipper) McKinney, Clarence (Mac) McKinney Jr. (Doris), Thomas McKinney, Judy McKinney Cherry (Phil), Jo Ann Norquest (Chris), Jerry McKinney, James McKinney (Janet), Sonia Cady (Roland) and Tonia Simmons, 26 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 17 nieces and nephews.
A service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at Torbert Funeral Chapel South 1145 E. Lebanon Road (Rt.10), Dover. Friends may call from 6 pm – 8 pm Friday evening. Interment will be at the Sharon Hill Cemetery, Garden of Peace, where Buck will be laid to rest near his son, Franklin.
In lieu of flowers the family suggest contributions be made to Meals on Wheels, c/o Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Avenue, Dover, DE 19904 or Delaware Hospice, 911 S. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

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Previous Events





6:00 PM 12/28/2018 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 12/28/2018 8:00:00 PM
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road

1145 E. Lebanon Road
Dover, DE 19901

Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 E. Lebanon Road Dover 19901 DE
United States





10:00 AM 12/29/2018 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 12/29/2018 11:00:00 AM
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road

1145 E. Lebanon Road
Dover, DE 19901

Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 E. Lebanon Road Dover 19901 DE
United States

Cemetery Details


Sharon Hills Memorial Park Final Resting Place

2928 Sharon Hill Road
Dover, DE 19904

2928 Sharon Hill Road Dover 19904 DE
United States

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