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Michael

Michael Mckinney

Michael D. McKinney (April 30, 1961 – May 9, 2018)Michael McKinney passed away on May 9, 2018, after a two and a half year battle with brain cancer. With the support of hospice services, he died peacefully in his bed at home with family at his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Doris McKinney of Macon, GA. He is survived by his sisters Lisa McKinney (Larry Chastain) of Winder, GA, and Karen Renner (Ron) of Bon Aqua, TN. He is also survived by an aunt, four cousins, two nephews, and numerous members of subsequent generations.Michael was born in Portales, NM, and spent most of his life in Macon, GA. His Face Book page says that he is “from Cherokee, NC.” Everyone who knew Michael can attest to that affiliation. His bond to the Great Smokey Mountains and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation was unbreakable. Michael began his career at the age of six, as a crowd scene actor in the outdoor drama, Unto These Hills, in Cherokee, NC. Over the next twenty summers he matured into the positions of Actor/Tech, Property Master, and ultimately Technical Director. He was skilled in theatrical pyrotechnics. His personal interests included a variety of martial arts disciplines and his skills were used for stage combat choreography throughout his career.He attended Wesleyan College in Macon, all the while acquiring more theatrical skills and duties. He eventually became the Technical Director for Wesleyan’s Porter Auditorium, with responsibility for all events in the performance areas of the building including the main auditorium and the Black Box Theater. He was an integral part of Wesleyan’s Theatre Department and campus life. Over the course of twenty-five years he taught stagecraft classes; designed and built three or more sets a year; acted in and directed student productions; and wrote and produced two plays. Michael won the John F. Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Meritorious Achievement Award in Excellence in Design for 2015 for Wesleyan's Festival of New Plays. He was a member of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. He mentored many students who found careers in the dramatic arts. Michael was a unique, funny, talented, and inspiring professional who will be missed by all who knew him.TriStar Cremation in Old Hickory, TN will publish obituary information and maintain a guest registry (tristarcremation.com/obituaries) for people who want to leave messages. The family plans to hold two memorial events, one in Macon, GA, and the other in Cherokee, NC. His cremains will be disbursed in NC, in accordance with local regulations. There will be an announcement to friends and family when plans are finalized. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cherokee Historical Association (564 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719) or Wesleyan College (4760 Forsyth Rd., Macon, GA 31210).
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