Wanda Mozelle McKinney was born in Durant, Okla., on Dec. 23, 1924, to Birdie Sophina (Bohanon) Templeton and Charles Haskell Templeton. She lived in Durant, Okla., for the first 16 years of her life. Mozelle always fondly expressed how she never saw a town like Houston, as everyone was so friendly and welcomed her with open arms.
Even on her first few days in town, she met some of her life-long friends and before she knew it she was down in the river swimming with them. They moved here between her junior and senior year in school. Mozelle graduated from Houston High School in 1942. She was very social, engaged in many school clubs and activities, including choir and glee club.
Carl Winfred McKinney and Mozelle eloped on July 26, 1942. That day, Wink and Mozelle were asked to be witnesses to their friends’ elopement in Arkansas. While there, Wink leaned over and asked Mozelle, “Do you want to get married, too?” Obviously, she said yes. Larry was born nine months after they got married, and Mozelle was convinced they were going to have 12 kids. However, they ended up with just three total beautiful children, Larry, Fred and Amy. They lived in various places throughout their life together including; Houston, Mo., Columbia, Mo., Springfield, Mo., Albuquerque, N.M., Lebanon, Tenn., then back to Houston, Mo., and they lived in seven different Air Force bases in a five-year time period, including Clovis, N.M., Albuquerque, N.M., and San Antonio, Texas.
While in Lebanon, Tenn., as Wink was attending law school, Mozelle’s younger sister, JoAnn, came to stay with them for a little while and Wink introduced her to his best friend, Harry, whom she later married. Mozelle always said in later years, that she regretted not going to college but she feels like she earned her degree from supporting her husband further in his education. Wink and Mozelle also loved to sightsee and learn about history by travelling to over 37 states, Canada and Mexico throughout their years together.
Mozelle worked for the health department for over a decade and then 35 years working at the Houston Post Office because she loved talking to people and was outgoing.
Mozelle was always active in her community and at the First Christian Church of Houston. She played bridge in many clubs throughout the years, winning high often. She was extremely active, winning dance contests with Wink in their early married years, and then later involved in dance ballroom, and attending many dances until just a couple of years ago. She was always very full of energy and walked three miles a day into her 70s, and then switched to low impact aerobics. She passed her love of games down to many family members. Friends and family would come over to play cards later into the evening. Mozelle’s other favorite games where dominos, Rumicube, bridge, skip-bo and many card games. She was also an avid reader, often reading up to seven books a week, and loved movies. Mozelle’s favorite thing to do was to go shopping and never let a sale pass her by. But the one thing Mozelle, did not love was cooking and would take the family out to eat to avoid it at all costs. Although she always kept herself healthy, she had a wicked sweet tooth.
Mozelle died at Houston, Mo., Sept. 14, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Carl; and her son, Frederick Morris McKinney. She is survived by her son, Larry McKinney (Beverly); daughter, Amy Lee McKinney; sister, JoAnn McKinney; and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation is 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, at Houston First Christian Church with services beginning at 2 p.m. with Wesley Wallace officiating. Burial is in Ozark Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. Pallbearers are: Rion McKinney, Jason McKinney, Scott McKinney, Indiana Robertson, Kouassi Hounnoukpke and Tyler McKinney.