Jan. 10, 1940 - Jan. 15, 2011
John Baylor (Van Vranken) McKinney, LTC, USA (Retired), died peacefully Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, with his wife by his side. He was born on Jan. 10, 1940, in Spokane, to Gerald Baylor Van Vranken, Captain, USA (Dental), of Walla Walla, and Ruby Estelle Thompson of Galveston, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Donald and Harry Van Vranken; sister, Gerry Lee McKinney; and step-father, Allan McKinney of Walla Walla. He is survived by his wife, Yolanda Garcia
McKinney; step-daughter, Letitita Marie (George) Riley of San Antonio, Texas; daughters, Rayett (Joe) Porchia of Osceola, Ark., Marlett and Lynett McKinney (James Belanger) of Salt Lake City; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
John graduated from Jordan High School in 1957. He was a past master councilor of the Salt Lake Chapter, Order of DeMolay and in 1961 was elected to and inducted into the Order of Chevaliers. Also in 1961 John graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree (political science). Upon graduation, John joined the U.S. Army (Air Defense) and retired in 1988 with over 27 years of service. His last assignment before retirement was as deputy director of the Air Defense Artillery Patriot Department. After retirement John began his career in volunteer work, beginning as a reserve deputy sheriff and then as a chief deputy constable for Precinct 2. He went on to join and serve as an advocate for veterans' rights as commander of The American Legion Law Enforcement Post 74, as president of the National Association for Uniformed Services Rill Ryerson El Paso Chapter and vice president of the Southwest Region and special advisor to the members of the Society of Military Widows Desert Sun Chapter 30, as co-chairman of local Congressman Reyes' Citizens Advisory Panel to include his televised town hall meetings, as commissioner appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2008 to the Texas Veterans Commission for a six-year term, as president of the Military Officers Association of America, as president of the Military Coalition of El Paso, as service officer for the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 165, as advocat of La Societe des 40 Hommes et 8 Chebeau Voyager 605, and in his weekly
stint doing volunteer service at the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, at Funeraria Del Angel at Martin Central, 3839 Montana Ave., El Paso, Texas. Visitation is from 5-9 p.m. with a memorial service at 7 p.m. Graveside services are pending.