Gaynelle McKinney

Gaynelle McKinney of Morgantown, WV died on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at her home. She was born on December 11, 1925 in Neon, KY, daughter of the late Sampie and Mary Evelyn McKinney.

She retired as Professor Emeritus from West Virginia Univeristy School of Nursing in 1991 after 30 years of service. She was one of the Charter Faculty members who designed the curriculum known nationally as the “West Virginia Plan”. During her tenure she served as Department Chairperson, Assistant Dean, and Director of continuing education. She was named Outstanding Teacher by the alumni of WVU School of Nursing. On several occasions she was honored by her peers for outstanding contributions to the nursing profession.

Prior to appointment at West Virginia University School of Nursing, she was an Assistant Professor at South Carolina University. She also taught and practiced nursing in Florida, Louisianna, and Kentucky.

She attended Simmons College, Duke and Tulane Universities and graduated from Louisiana State University (BSNed) and Indiana University (MSNed). She held a Diploma in Nursing from Nazareth School of Nursing in Lexington, KY.

Gaynelle was active in local, state, and national nursing and health care organizations. She was a member of Alpha Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society and was the recipient of the First Mentor’s Award of the local chapter and the First Dorothy Garrigus Founders Award by the international organization. A long-standing member of the American Nurses Association, she was admitted as a Charter Fellow to the newly established American Academy of Nursing in 1974. She was also a member of Kappa Delta Phi Educational Honor Society. She chaired the West Virginia Planning Commission for Nursing, the Governor’s Commission on Nursing, and the West Virginia State Health Coordinating Council. She also served as a representative and consultant for the Southern Regional Education Board Collegiate Nursing Council on several occasions. Her publications relative to man power planning were foundational to health planning activities in West Virginia.

She was a long-term member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served in many capacities including Moderator of the Board, Elder, and Trustee. She also served on the Board of the Disciples Student Fellowship for several years.

Her community services included Board Member of Kiwanis Friendship Manor, Inc. , Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers, Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels, and West Virginia School of Nursing, Advisory Committee.

She enjoyed gourmet cooking, interior design, nature, and wildlife exploration, international travel, antique collecting, spectator sports, theater, fishing, and times spent with her family, friends, and pets.

She is survived by several nieces, nephews, and friends.

In addition to her parents, Gaynelle was preceded in death by her life-long companion, friend, and professional colleague Betty Veach, her brother and spouse, Woody and Billie McKinney of Neon, KY; two sisters, Nan Lou Webb of Hamilton, OH, and Maewood Adams of Denver, CO.

In honoring Gaynelle’s wishes McCulla Funeral Home has provided cremation services and her remains will be interred with her parents at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens in Virginia. Online condolences may be extended to the family at