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Wayne Tyson McKinnon Jr., 82, of Blackfoot, Idaho, passed away Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, under the care of Bingham Memorial Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Wayne was born on April 16, 1932, in Logan, Utah, to Wayne Tyson Sr. and Evelyn Tuddenham McKinnon. He grew up in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado and graduated as valedictorian from Rio Blanco County High School in Meeker, Colo., and Colorado A&M College (now Colorado State University) in Fort Collins, Colo. While in high school, he served in many leadership capacities and was selected by the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association as an outstanding youth. In college, he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and ROTC.
Wayne met Shirley Lee Wyatt while at college, and they were married July 11, 1954, in Pueblo, Colo. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan LDS Temple in February 1956.
Wayne joined the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lt. and was stationed in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Texas and Korea. He was a member of “The Angels” of the Famous 11th Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell, Kent. He was a paratrooper, a pilot and flew L-19’s (observation planes), helicopters and attended a guided-missile school. He served overseas during the Korean War.
After 4 ½ years in the Army, Wayne resigned his commission as 1st Lieutenant when his father was injured in a farm accident. Wayne spent his life in the agriculture industry and farmed and ranched alongside his Dad in Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho. In 1962, the family moved to Idaho, living in several different communities in Bingham County.
Wayne served in many capacities in the church and community. He served on the Farm Bureau Board, legislative committees and, for 15 1/5 years, on the Motor Carrier Advisory Committee.
Wayne and Shirley were avid square dancers. In fact, that is how they met, when Wayne was calling “San Antonio Rose” at a square dance. He taught square dancing wherever they lived and they were state chairpersons for the State Round and Square Dance annual festivals a couple of times.
He owned Silver Queen Enterprises, which entailed his many talents in agriculture, custom grain and hay harvest, trucking agriculture products and Silver Sage Gardens. Wayne was a master gardener and participated in the local farmers markets.
Since a young age, Wayne was known for his dependability and leadership abilities and instilled those qualities as well as many others in his children and grandchildren. He taught them a strong work ethic and whatever they did in this life they were representing the family name so they better do it right!
Wayne is survived by: his wife, Shirley of Blackfoot; daughter Marjorie Lusk of Ammon; daughter Elizabeth Harper of Blackfoot; son David (Joy) of Firth; brother John McKinnon of Troutdale, Ore.; sister Joan Carlson of Kearns, Utah; 14 grandchildren; and 6 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Margaret and brother Joseph Edward.
Services will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Saturday March 7, 2015, at the Rose 1st Ward LDS Church with Bishop Delbert Loosli conducting.
The family will meet with friends on Friday evening at Hawker Funeral Home in Blackfoot from 6 to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday at the church from 10 to 10:45 a.m.
Burial will be in the Grove City Cemetery with military honors.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.