William W. McKinley, Sr.
William W. McKinley, Sr., of Hattiesburg MS, at age eighty, peacefully departed this life on February 11, 2020, on terms that he and the good Lord agreed were just, while he was taking a nap at home. Born in Jackson MS, the second son of Robert Louie McKinley and Sarah Whitfield Jones, Billy is survived by his wonderful and caring wife, Susan Willis McKinley, who tirelessly provided love and support for Billy throughout their twenty-nine year marriage; four children of his first marriage (Susie), Whit McKinley of Jackson MS, Laura Glaze (Chip) of Denver CO, Everett McKinley (Tracy) of Austin TX, and Sarah McKinley (Ryan Oyer) of Denver CO; stepson, Lance Brownson and stepdaughter, Delie Putnam; niece and nephew Stephanie and Robert; and seven grandchildren - Currie, Daniel, Matthew, Mason, Gray, Owen, and Lucas.
Billy, as he was known in his youth, attended Central and Provine High School in Jackson and was a graduate of Millsaps College (’62). He trained in dentistry and orthodontics at the University of Tennessee at Memphis, also serving a year in the Public Health Service in North Dakota. In 1964, he set up his orthodontic practice in Hattiesburg MS, beginning with a small office on Hardy Street, which over the years expanded to a practice with four satellite offices surrounding Hattiesburg. Throughout his career he actively taught his specialty at both the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans and after his retirement at the UT School of Dentistry in Memphis.
Among Billy’s favorite memories are his long-time friends, partners, and associates in his chosen profession. He was bestowed with praise throughout, by the members and faculty in state and national dental boards, associations, and universities with numerous honors, recognition, and awards. Billy enjoyed many hobbies during his life including cars, travel, camping, running, conservationism, and sailing, but without a doubt, his greatest personal achievement was a choice symbolized by a medallion he carried in his pocket even as he drifted off to his final rest, extolling a thirty-five year journey of faith, personal integrity, and service to others seeking help.
Billy was whip smart. He knew how things should be done and was happy to share his insight with those - more and less - willing to listen. Some who knew him well add that he was not shy of pointing out flaws, while simultaneously agreeing that his vision and attention to detail were without peer. He had a profound faith, a belief in teaching others his considerable knowledge, a decades-long pillar of support to many on the journey, and a provider driven to protect his family against any material want of need. Godspeed!
Friends and family are invited to Trinity Episcopal Church, 409 W. Pine St. in Hattiesburg for visitation in the Parish Hall at 10:00 a.m. with a service following at 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 17, 2020.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be directed to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.