On May 1, 2020, Vernon Dale McKean left his loving family and a host of friends for a new life with Jesus after almost 93 years on this earth.
Dale was born on a homesteaded farm in Western Oklahoma near Durham on May 9, 1927 to Wilkie Collins (Mac) McKean and Rosa Viola Haight McKean. He had 2 older brothers, Ralph and Wayne and 3 older sisters, Pearl, Ellen and Jessie who all have preceded him in death.
On March 1, 1946 he joined the Army Air Force, doing his basic training in Wichita Falls, TX, then transferring to Biloxi, MS, where he became an airplane engine mechanic and instructor in which he greatly excelled.
He married Colleen Bonds, a local girl who had made eyes at him when he drove her school bus when she was 9. They enjoyed 69 years of marriage together.
He worked in Oklahoma and Idaho as a vehicle mechanic and Pampa, Texas, in an electric shop before coming to Carlsbad as an electrician and maintenance man for IMCC potash mine, retiring after 25 years.
Dale was willing to help others and could figure out how to create or fix anything. He and his wife remodeled and built over 10 houses.
He spent many hours with his sons helping build original motorcycles or pouring a concrete pad for a basketball court and then playing hard and fast ball until he was in his sixties. Some of the family’s best memories are swimming, water skiing and camping at Willow Lake.
In 1991 he and Colleen bought a 5th wheel and spent 5 years living at fishing lakes in Texas and Oklahoma, making many friends but eventually coming back to Carlsbad to spend time with his grandkids.
His survivors include his wife of 69 ½ years, Colleen Bonds McKean; son, Rick McKean and wife, Jeanie; daughter, Jeannie Watson; son, Terry McKean and wife, Terrie; and daughter, Jody Knox and husband Jeff all of Carlsbad; seven grandsons: Shawn and Jeff Watson, Clint and Kelly McKean; Joshua and Caleb McKean; Jake Knox and granddaughter, Jandi Knox; eighteen great grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews of several generations. He also leaves two sisters-in-law: Janette Brown and Roberta Bonds of Oklahoma.
A memorial service will be planned for a later date after restrictions are lifted.
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com
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