We gather today to honor and celebrate the life of Arthur McKinney Jr husband, brother, father and beloved friend. Arthur McKinney Jr. was born on November 3, 1950, in Bradenton, FL to parents Arthur and Marjorie McKinney, Both of whom preceded him in death. He spent his early years in Bradenton, FL. where he attended elementary and middle school, but moved to Williston, FL where he graduated from Williston Vocational High School. He then attended Tampa Barber College in Tampa, FL and took his skills back to Bradenton and then to Titusville, FL. He later pursued a passion for firefighting and began, what would ultimately be, a 30-year career at Kennedy Space Center where he ascended to become the first African American Fire Inspector. After a rewarding and successful career, he retired in November 2012.
Arthur, affectionately called “Bergen”, “Junior”, “Big Art”, and “Brother Art” was kind-hearted, compassionate and had a giving spirit. He made an indelible impact on so many lives. He loved to bring joy and fulfillment to others with his culinary skills and enjoyed cooking, catering, and participating in various community events. He was a “pit master” and shared his love of Bar-B-Que and even created his own sauce. You could always depend on him to offer kind words, a funny story, and words of wisdom. He also had a passion for the Men’s Ministry and served faithfully at Enlightened Christian Center and Living Faith World Ministry. In addition, he was a proud and active member of the NAACP.
Arthur made his transition into eternity on July 17, 2021. He leaves to cherish precious memories, his loving wife of 30 years, Verdell McKinney. Siblings Cassandra Patterson (Richard), Gwendolyn Mitchell (Ronald), and a dear friend whom he deemed his brother, Billy Jenkins (Tracy), and patriarch of the family Uncle Elihu Wallace (Laura); Children Monica McKinney, Shawn Matthews, Alicia McKinney-Newton (Daryl), Broderick McKinney (Lakita) and Crystal Wheeler. Bonus children Roderic Bradshaw (Juanita), Maurice Bradshaw (Kathy), and Venus Bradshaw. Godchildren Chris Cougar, Jimmy Ryan, Vick Thomas, Ericka O’Neal and Ashley Guinyard; 25 Grandchildren and 12 Great-grandchildren, 1 Grand-dog “Princenton”. And a host of nieces, nephews and other loving relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his three brothers, Coy McKinney, Ulysses Simpson, and Jimmy Saffo.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arthur McKinney, Jr., please visit our floral store.