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School 30


Velma G. (Gattis) McKinney

September 21, 1929 ~ November 12, 2018 (age 89)

Watson-North Funeral Home is honored to be of service and ministry to the family of Velma Gattis McKinney, age 89 of Manchester.  Mrs. McKinney passed from this life on November 12, 2018 at Bailey Manor in Manchester.  She is preceded in death by her husband of 32 years, Paul McKinney, Sr.; her mother, Flora Mae Eslick Gattis and her father, John Wesley Gattis; brothers, Z. L. Gattis , Harry Gattis and Glendon Gattis;  mother-in-law, Clara McKinney and father-in-law, Jim Russel McKinney; sister-in-law, Dorothy McKinney.  She leaves to mourn her passing, her son, Paul Franklin McKinney; grandson, Dillon Floyd; nieces, Pamela Brandon, Carolyn Gattis, Vickie Lynn Sweeton, Terry O’Donahue and Jane Wilkerson; nephews, Glen Gattis and Troy McKinney; great-niece, Sara Brandon; great-nephew Ryan (Emily) Brandon and their son, Samuel Brandon; sister-in-law, Betty Gattis; brother-in-law, Jimmy McKinney; close family friend, Stella Burnette.   Mrs. McKinney was a native of Lincoln County.  In 1943, she and her family moved from Fayetteville to Tullahoma where she attended East Lincoln Elementary School.  During her junior year at Tullahoma High School she enrolled in the Tullahoma Beauty School and received her cosmetology license.  She relocated to Nashville where she was employed by Baughers Beauty Salon in the Belle Meade and Green Hills area.  During her more than ten years at Baughers, she developed a wonderful clientele which included Minnie Pearl.  On two different occasions she had the opportunity to attend Advance Cosmetology in New York City.  As a beautician she had the opportunity to take several summer-time tours, visiting Yellowstone National Park, Los Aneles, CA, Mexico City, Canada and San Francisco where she loved riding the trolley cars.   In 1962 she met her future husband, Paul McKinney.  The two married in 1963 and made their home in Winchester.  During the early years of their marriage she earned an instructors license in Cosmetology.  She taught her trade at Tullahoma Beauty School until 1969, when her son Paul, Jr. was born.  After his birth she continued styling hair out of her home the shop her husband built for her.  In 1973 her son, Paul, Jr. enrolled in the Head Start program.  Being the  devoted mother that she was, she did volunteer work at Head Start.  In 1977 she was offered a position as a teacher’s aide which she readily accepted.  In 1984 she was appointed to the position of Supervising Teacher of the Liberty Head Start.  During her tenure at Head Start she earned her Child Development Credentials (CDA) from Tennessee State University in Nashville.  In 1986 the Liberty Head Start was moved to the Belvidere community where the program grew to 80 children and 4 staff members.  In August of 1997, following 19 years of service to Head Start she retired from Head Start.  In her retirement she was able to take a more active role at her church, the Little Mountain Church of Christ.  Over the years, she was a mentor to many youth, taking groups of teens on summer vacation trips of camping and hiking.  She also worked in church’s summer Vacation Bible School activities, assisted in teaching the Primary Sunday School Class and assisting in the nursery.  In July of 1995, her husband of 32 years passed away.  Until her health began to fail she continued to enjoy her retirement to the fullest, taking a summer trip each year and working in the Head Start Foster Grandparent Program, working with children, which was her first love.  Visitation for Mrs. McKinney will be in the Roy B. Watson Chapel at Watson-North Funeral Home on Saturday November 17, 2018 commencing at 12 noon until 2 p.m. after which the funeral service will follow.   Mrs. McKinney will be laid to rest alongside her late husband at Franklin Memorial Gardens with friends and family serving as pallbearers.  Online condolences may be sent to           

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