The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


January 25, 2013

Obituaries — Friday, Jan. 27, 2013


Merle McKinney

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith.

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Merle McKinney, 89, of Bud, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at Wyoming Nursing and Rehabilitation Center following a long illness and a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Born June 25, 1923, at Herndon, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late Jack and Becca Graham Graham.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard McKinney, who was killed in a mine accident in 1960. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Hazel Harman, and a brother, Orville Graham.

Saved at the age of 19, she was a faithful servant of the Lord and a dedicated member of the Spruce Grove Missionary Baptist Church where she taught the Primary Class of Sunday School for over 20 years.

Merle was a homemaker, devoting her life to her family and church. She spent her summers gardening, canning and growing beautiful flowers. Her winters were spent quilting and doing embroidery. She found year-round enjoyment feeding and watching squirrels, turkey, deer and her menagerie of birds. She experienced many hardships in her life and is now resting in the arms of her Savior and Lord. Through all the trials and tribulations of life, her faith in the God she served never wavered.

Those left to cherish her memory are her loving daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Rev. Danny Lusk with whom she made her home for 40 years. Merle is also survived by sisters, Ina Lane of Stephenson, W.Va., Ethel Lusk of Bud, brother and sister-in-law Ray and Layla Graham of Herndon, and sister-in-law Joyce Graham of Helen, W.Va.

Also surviving are nieces, nephews and a host of friends and church family.

Nephews, Devon Lane, Jeffrey Graham, Larry Workman, Albert Graham, Orville Graham Jr., and David McKinney will serve as pallbearers. Ronnie Harman and Jackie Harman will serve as honorary pallbearers.

A celebration service of her life and home going will be at 12 noon Sunday, January 27, 2013, at the Spruce Grove Missionary Baptist Church, with Rev. Danny Lusk officiating.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, January 26, at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Sunday.

She will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband in the Rube Howerton Cemetery.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the entire staff of Wyoming Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the excellent care and kindness shown to Merle. Your love and devotion will be remembered forever.

Memorial donations may be made in Merle’s memory to Wyoming Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Activity Dept., PO Box 149, New Richmond, WV 24867. 

Online condolences may be expressed at

The family of Merle McKinney is being cared for by Tankersley Funeral Home, Mullens.

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