Edward Joseph McKinney

February 25, 1934 ~ September 16, 2021 (age 87)


Edward Joseph McKinney of Fredericksburg, VA passed away on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at age 87.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Norma Kay, nee Stotlemyer; his brother Robert McKinney, niece Lynda McKinney Poe (Jason); and nephew Michael McKinney.

He was born and raised in East St. Louis, IL. While in high school he won a Harvard Prize Books Award, an American Legion Award for scholarship and leadership, a Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, and a Rensselaer Polytechnic Medal. At graduation he was awarded a full scholarship to Cornell University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Electronics.

He spent his 46 year professional career in defense research & development, two thirds with defense contractors and Bell Labs, and one third with the federal government. While working for GE, he was awarded an American Defense Preparedness Association Bronze Medal for Distinguished Service. Edward’s government service included four years in the Pentagon where he was Staff Specialist for Anti-submarine Warfare, Undersea Surveillance and Naval Mine Warfare. He was a charter member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service medal.

Edward was an avid hiker and fearless skier - he and Kay met while skiing in Kitzbuhel, Austria. He preferred classical music, especially opera and would tolerate the occasional ballet. Edward enjoyed traveling and visited all seven continents. Europe, South America and Asia were favorite destinations, especially when the trips were shared with friends. He loved animals and cherished memories of the Galapagos Islands and photo safaris in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Edward was a voracious reader of history, detective fiction and the occasional layman’s book on quantum physics and cosmology.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Edward’s memory to UMW Theatre at the University of Mary Washington ( or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (


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