American Patriotic 11

Carlton E. McKinley

June 23, 1922 ~ July 24, 2019 (age 97)


Carlton Eugene (Gene) McKinley, 97, of Palmyra, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at the Columbia Cottage.  He was born Friday, June 23, 1922 to the late Daniel and Elizabeth (Diehl) McKinley. He is predeceased by his loving wives Virginia (Lehr) McKinley died (1969) m. ( 1945-1969), Cora (Mickie) McKinley died (1989) m. (1971-1989) and Dorothy (Healy) McKinley died (March) m. (1992-2019).

Gene graduated from William Penn High School, York, PA in 1941.  His work career was delayed by WWII.  He enlisted in the US Marines and after training he was sent to the Pacific with US Marine 1stdivision, where he saw action at Guadalcanal, Peleliu, and other islands.  He was a purple heart recipient.  

He was retired from a career in interior design and furniture sales at several firms in Central PA. He began his work in York before moving to Palmyra to manage Lauck’s Furniture Co.  He later worked at Liebman’s and retired from Moyer’s in Palmyra.

Gene was an avid golfer and played until age 91 with his closest friends.  He enjoyed playing cards and traveling with Dottie on many international and domestic tours.  Family was important to Gene as he attended many sporting events, and other celebrations of his sons as they grew up, then his grandchildren, and finally great grandchildren.  Recently, he particularly enjoyed family celebrations around birthdays and holidays.

His service during WWII was very important to him, especially in later years, as he reflected back on his experiences.  He attended several reunions of the storied US Marine 1stdivision, and would proudly wear his red cap with the US Marine logo during Veterans Day parades and visiting the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. as the saying, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Gene most recently resided at Columbia Cottage and Traditions of Hershey.   He was a faithful member of the Palm Lutheran Church, Palmyra.

He is survived by his children: Daniel McKinley (Sandra), Ronald McKinley (Karen), and Wayne McKinley (Linda), grandchildren; Jason McKinley (Jaime), Kelly (McKinley) Snyder (Skylar), Michael McKinley (Jennifer), Christopher McKinley (Jennifer), Ryan McKinley (Jessica) and Kyle McKinley (Diego); 11 great-grandchildren, Kailyn, Norah, Daniel, Brenna, Ian, Patrick, Jackson, Connor, Reese, Luke, and Kayla.  He is predeceased by his brother Dr. Kenneth McKinley.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made in his memory to the Heartland Hospice, 1200 Walnut Bottom Rd. 302, Carlisle, PA 17015.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family.  Arrangements have been entrusted to the Rothermel-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 25 W. Pine St., Palmyra, PA 17078.  Memories and condolences may be shared at

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Heartland Hospice
1200 Walnut Bottom Rd #302, Carlisle PA 17015

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