February 1, 2013
Herb McKinley, a well-known West Texas artist, went to paint heaven's landscapes on Friday, February 1, 2013, at the age of 92.
A few of McKinley's works are part of Midland College's permanent art collection. He also is responsible for drawing the roadrunner that is seen on the front cover of the Midland College Foundation Clarion newsletter. His love for drawing began when he was in grade school, and although he had no formal training in art, he became an acclaimed wildlife artist and received many awards for his art in Texas and New Mexico. McKinley was honored when asked to paint a Hill Country wildflower and nature landscape painting for President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson.
McKinley had an enormous love for all of God's creatures (which was reflected in his paintings). He loved to sketch caricatures of everyone, including himself. He often laughed hardest at his own self portraits. McKinley was kind, gentle and loved life to its fullest. He entered bits of humor and laughter into all situations in which he found himself, always finding the best in everyone he came across. His laugh was robust and contagious, with always a knee slap.
Born to Herbert and Bess McKinley on August 31, 1920 in Corsicana, Texas, Herb and his youngest brother, Leroy, had a well traveled childhood living in El Paso, Temple, Abbott, Winnsboro, South Oak Cliff, Electra and Waco, Texas. Herb excelled in football, playing for the Temple Wildcats in two championship seasons during his high school years. He had many fond memories of that time speaking often of the friends and coaches who took a special interest in his life.
After graduation from Temple High School, he proudly served in the Navy during World War II as a medical corpsman in the Hebrides Islands and New Zealand. Herb married Ruth Mints in Lamesa, Texas and they had their only child, Judy, in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1945. Ruth preceded him in death in 1962. Herb married Dorothy King in 1966 and with that marriage came two teenagers, Guy King and Ferrell King.
From his early years Herb worked a variety of jobs, including: a baker, driving a Coca-Cola Truck, TXU electric lineman, and even working on his first wife's family farm for a short time. His primary vocation before retirement was a draftsman for Pure Oil, Superior Oil and Sun Oil Companies. His love of painting was the reason for his early retirement, so he could pursue his art full time.
Herb was a dedicated husband, a wonderful father and super fun Paw Paw!! Herb was preceded in death by his brother, Leroy in 1991, and his son, Guy King in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Judy and husband Mike Moffett; daughter Ferrell and husband Pat Powell; and daughter-in-law, Janine King.
Grandchildren are Carrie Powell, Courtney and husband Aaron Cox, Jennifer King and Jerry King. Great grandchildren include Savannah and Foster Cox and Sierra King. He is also survived by his niece Dorrie McKinley; nephew Jamie McKinley and Jamie's sons Chris, Matt and Josh of Atlanta, Georgia.