John William McKinney, 63, of Knoxville; formerly of Newton died on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, at Pella Regional Health Center. The family will greet friends with joyous smiles, belly laughs, and friendly jabs from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 12, at Newton Union Cemetery. Memorials to John’s family may be left at the funeral home.
John, the son of Kenneth and Louise (Swank) McKinney, was born on Nov. 18, 1954 in Newton. From the time he was born he was an avid outdoorsman; enjoying camping, fishing, hunting and mushroom hunting. On Oct. 10, 1974, John was united in marriage with Cheryl Hillegonds in Kirksville, Mo. and they have been inseparable ever since. Whether it was working together, doing home projects or going on an adventure they were always by each other’s side. John and Cheryl were blessed with two children, Chris and Michelle and as a family they were always on the go. Time was spent at ball practices, going to the lake, hunting and simply having FUN together. There was never a dull moment. John worked for the city of Newton, the Maytag Company and most recently was a truck driver for Hy-Vee. He was a member of the UAW Local 997. John never knew a stranger and was known for his quick wit and famous one-liners.
Those left to carry on his memory and stories are his wife, Cheryl of Knoxville; children, Chris (Selina) McKinney of Newton and Michelle (Dan) McGill of Colfax; grandchildren, Morgan, Miranda and John McGill and Will and Gabe McKinney; his brother, Tom (Mary) McKinney of Kellogg; brother-in-law,Stephen Hillegonds of Pennsylvania; sisters-in-law, Linda McKinney of Newton and Kennetha (Eric) Klein of Clive; and his nieces, nephews, aunts, uncle, cousins,and friends (many of whom have received clever nicknames from John). He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Edwin McKinney.