Grace Watson McKinney

Published 5:41 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grace Watson McKinney of Engelhard died peacefully Tuesday evening, January 28, 2014 at Cross Creek Health Care Center in Swan Quarter. Born June 13, 1924, Grace was the daughter of the late John and Ina Watson of Nebraska, NC. She married Reginald Lucas McKinney, of Engelhard, on July 13, 1946.

She is survived by her husband of over 67 years and their two children, daughter, Reglyn McKinney Reid and her husband, Jim, of Southern Pines and son, Julian Watson McKinney, of Greensboro; granddaughter, Rachel McKinney Sellers and her husband, Jeff, of Madison, NC; and great-granddaughter Hannah Dawn Sellers, of Madison; a sister, Louise Watson Whitehead of Elizabeth City, NC; and three nieces and a nephew.

Grace was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, and sister, Evelyn Watson Swindell, and a nephew.

Grace attended Lake Landing School, and graduated as Salutatorian from Engelhard School in 1941. After graduation she held positions as bookkeeper for Sinclair Oil Company in Elizabeth City, the Electric Power Company in Williamston, with Pamlico Power and Light in Engelhard for over 20 years, and for the family business until her retirement.

Throughout her life, Grace served in her church and community. She was a member of Soule United Methodist Church, and was a former member of Watson’s Chapel United Methodist Church where she taught the Young Adult Sunday School for 25 years. She was an UMYF youth group leader, and held the offices of President, Treasurer and Secretary during her many years as a member of the United Methodist Women.

Grace was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and an honorary member of the Engelhard Rotary Club. She was the volunteer contact for the American Red Cross which enabled families in Hyde and surrounding counties to contact loved ones in the military worldwide in times of crisis. Grace received multiple Sword of Hope volunteer awards from the American Cancer society, participated in Relay for Life, delivered Meals on Wheels, was a member of the Grass Roots Arts Council, and served as a parent sponsor of the Helping Hands 4-H Club. Grace was a member of the Hyde County Health Board, and the Board of Directors for the Octagon House Restoration. She was a contributing writer for a local newspaper. As a lover of music, she was a vocal soloist for weddings, and member of her church and community choirs.

Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 3800 Shamrock Drive, Branscomb

#10, Charlotte, NC 28215-3220 or to Soule United Methodist Church, c/o Sandra Tunnell, 809 Main St, Swan Quarter, NC 27885.

Visitation will be Friday, January 31 from 6-8 pm at Bryan Funeral Home in Swan Quarter, NC. Funeral service will be held on February 1 at Soule United Methodist Church in Swan Quarter, and burial to follow in Fulford Cemetary, Engelhard, NC.