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Woodrow Howell McKinnon of Douglas, GA passed over into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, January 11th, 2024. During his extended illness he was surrounded by his wife of Seventy years, family, and caregivers.
Mr. McKinnon (Woody) was born February 12th, 1931, in Atkinson County to the late Grover and Pruella McKinnon. The youngest of four sons, he left home at an early age to pursue work. After working for several years in Jacksonville, FL, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, being assured by the recruiter that another war would not occur in his life time. Within a few months he was serving in the Korean war as a Sergeant First Class. Sergeant McKinnon received the U.S. Army’s Silver Star for his gallant and formidable efforts leading his battalion to defeat and hold the enemy after his battalion suffered enormous losses. During his military service, Derenne Thompson became his pen pal, writing letters of encouragement to a young soldier she had never met. Upon his return from the war, they begun a courtship.
This courtship resulted in a loving marriage, three children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. On November 6th Woody and Derenne celebrated seventy years of marriage.
As a young husband and father, he returned to Coffee County purchasing his first farm. Many years of hard work and diligence made him among the best of the farmers in Coffee County. He received many awards, Farmer of the Year and Grower of the Year, recognizing his work and ethic and excellence in agriculture. His legacy continues with his son, Wayne and his grandson, Clay farming the original acres and preserving the land he loved so much. His son, Steve and daughter, Cheryl have homes on the McKinnon home place.
He served faithfully as a deacon and church member at Eastside Baptist Church. He and his wife were a part of members establishing the church over sixty years ago. He was active in community service, serving on the Coffee Regional Hospital Authority as a board member. He also was one if the founders and board members of Citizens Christian Academy.
He is Survived by: His wife; Derenne T. McKinnon, two sons; Wayne (Lynn) McKinnon and Steve McKinnon, one daughter; Cheryl (Paul) Mckinnon Darwin, six grandchildren; Amanda (Theo) Ross, Courtney (Lee) Darwin Taylor, Monica McKinnon, Brittany (Tommy) Darwin Groll, Clay (Ali) McKinnon, Ty (Chloe) Darwin, six great-grandchildren; Kellan Taylor, Amelia McKinnon, Jones McKinnon, Mason McKinnon, Liam Groll, Layton Groll, and two step-grandchildren: Grayson and Whitley Taylor.
He was preceded in death by his parents Grover and Pruella Howell McKinnon; his brothers Connie McKinnon Talmage McKinnon, and Grover McKinnon Jr.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, January 14th at The Chapel of Sims Funeral Home in Douglas, GA. Visitation will be from 1:00PM until 2:00PM.
Funeral Service will be held at 2:00PM, at The Chapel of Sims Funeral Home in Douglas, GA.
The family will have a private graveside and burial.
Active Pallbearers will include: Ty Darwin, Theo Ross, Lee Taylor, Tommy Groll, Matthew McKinnon, and Jerry McKinnon.
Honorary Pallbearers include: Guy McKinnon, Bobby McKinnon, Craig McKinnon, Jason McKinnon, Danny Ware, Bill Bohler, Guadeloupe Rodrigues, Cecil Holt, Clark McKinnon, Daryl Carter, Jimmy Troupe, and Jack Beverly.