MCKINNEY, MICHAEL WHITNEY (1946 ~ 2012). The following is an obituary for Michael W. "Mike" McKinney, Vice Chairman of the Friends of the Texas State Cemetery. The obituary was published in the February 17, 2012 edition of the Austin American Statesman.
Michael W. McKinney, 65, passed away peacefully on February 15, 2012.
Mike attended San Angelo public schools and graduated in 1964 as student body president. He attended Angelo State University before transferring to The University of Texas, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in government.
In 1968, Mike began working in the office of Lieutenant Governor Preston Smith. Later, when Smith became Governor, Mike served as his special assistant and appointments secretary until Smith left office in 1973.
In 1973, Mike married LaNan Hooker of McAllen. The McKinneys have two wonderful children, W. Blake McKinney, M.D. and Lauren Brooke McKinney, J.D. Lauren is an attorney and works in the Office of Governor Rick Perry, and Blake is an emergency room physician at Sutter Medical Center in Roseville, CA.
Mike served as assistant to executive director Hugh Yantis, Jr. at the Texas Water Quality Board before beginning work at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 1977. He served as Assistant Administrator of the commission and played a major role in modernizing the agency.
In 1984, Mike joined the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, a well-known trade association based in Austin. He initially served as Vice President of Industry Affairs, and in 1989 was promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer, which he held until his death.
Mike represented the interests of the wholesale beer industry in Washington, D.C. and in the state legislature in Austin. The Quorum Report, a political journal, ranked him at the top of the list of "Most Knowledgeable, Greatest Candor" in the governmental affairs arena, and later ranked the WBDT governmental affairs team among the Top Ten in Austin. Another journal, Capitol Inside, ranked Mike as the top "single-client" governmental affairs specialist.
Mike was actively involved in several charitable organizations, including the Sam Houston Society, Friends of the Texas State Cemetery, State Cemetery board member, Keep America Beautiful and Knights of the Symphony.
He served on the board of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum Foundation and served as President in 2005-2006. In addition, he was a member of the Community Advisory Council of the Austin Scottish Rite Learning Center.
Mike was a Master Mason, a Scottish Rite Mason and a York Rite Mason. He served on the board of Friends of the Governor's Mansion, and actively supported improvements to the mansion.
Mike was honored numerous times by professional and governmental organizations. He received the Presidential Award for Legislative Excellence from the National Beer Wholesalers Association, as well as the President's Industry Service Award. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission awarded Mike the Bert Ford Commendation in 1996. In 1994, he was named the Austin Club member of the year, and later served as president of the club until his death.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, LaNan Mckinney; his daughter, Lauren Brooke McKinney, of Austin; his son, W. Blake McKinney and his wife, Erika, and his three grandchildren, Chad William McKinney, Braden Michael McKinney, and Skylar Sands McKinney of El Dorado Hills, CA; and his sister Rebekah McKinney-Reese and her husband, Donovan Reese, of Granbury.
He was predeceased by his mother, Mitzi Broome McKinney, his father, Wallace L. "Mac" McKinney, and his brother, John Bradley McKinney.
The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, February 18, 2012, at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 1500 North Capital of Texas Highway, Austin, TX 78746. Burial will follow at the Texas State Cemetery (909 Navasota Street, Austin, TX. 78702). A reception will follow at The Austin Club, 110 East 9th Street.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude for the many kindnesses of friends and family, as well as their sincere appreciation for the support and professional efforts of the staff at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Scottish Rite Learning Center of Austin, 12871 N. Highway 183, #105, Austin, TX 78750.