Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 8, 2013

William Paul McKinney Sr.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WEBER CITY, Va. — William Paul McKinney Sr., 88, of Weber City, Va., formerly of Welch and Princeton, died early Saturday morning, July 6, 2013 at Bristol Regional Medical Center, Bristol, Va.

Born January 6, 1925, at Rhodell, he was the son of the late Chess Robertson McKinney and Laura Pricilla Graham McKinney.

Mr. McKinney was educated in Wyoming County. He was a veteran of WW II serving with the U.S. Navy, while serving with the Navy, Mr. McKinney was a champion boxer.  

Mr. McKinney will be remembered in many ways, by his family and friends as a devoted father and grandfather, as well as a very generous person.

Mr. McKinney began his professional career of poker playing in smoke-filled backrooms, and worked his way to the grand stages of Las Vegas, where he holds the record of being the oldest person at the age of 80 to win the World Series of Poker. Mr. McKinney was a well-respected legend in the ranks of his profession throughout the United States, having played with many Hollywood stars, well known politicians, and every day people.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Monzella Marie Heath McKinney, along with three grandchildren: Maria Denise McKinney Hicks, Christopher James Warren and Nicholas Paul Warren. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family, having been preceded by his siblings: Neva, Alice, Orlie, Coy, Emmett, Opie and Bruce.

He is survived by his five children: William Paul (Jr.) and Norma McKinney of Welch and Princeton, Linda and John Shaw of Gainesville, Ga., Brenda and Sam Blackwell of Weber City, Va., Jack and Nancy McKinney of Apex, N.C., Paula Warren and companion Dennis Mitchell of Welch; seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, seven great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013 from the Burns Wornal Chapel of the Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road in Princeton with Pastor Hugh McKinney officiating. Entombment will follow in Resthaven Memorial Park Mausoleum in Princeton. Military honors will be given by the Mercer County Veterans Council.

Friends may visit with the family Tuesday from 6 until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

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Mr. McKinney's grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

The McKinney family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory & Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.