Barbara (Bobbie) Jean Ellis McKinley, age 94, passed away peacefully on October 24, 2023 in Townsend, Tennessee with her family by her side. Barbara, affectionately called Bobbie by her family and friends, was born in Birmingham, Alabama on March 10, 1929, to the late Nathaniel Wesley Ellis and Janet Nelson Ellis. She was the oldest of three children. Bobbie graduated from Ensley High School and attended the University of Alabama. While working at Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad (TCI) she met her husband, Bob, when he was working as an auditor in her office. They were married in Birmingham on May 12, 1950. Barbara and Bob moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1953, where they made their home with three daughters, Marsha, Suzanne and Janet. Bobbie attended the University of Tennessee – Nashville and performed accounting and bookkeeping services for several small companies in Nashville and the State of Tennessee Department of Labor.
Barbara and Bob moved to Spring Hill, Tennessee in 1972 where their attention turned to raising registered Polled Hereford cattle and Tennessee Walking Horses. The McKinley’s soon made a name in the industry as premier breeders and handlers of Tennessee Walking Horses. Barbara and Bob traveled around the world but always found the time and energy to bring the extended family together at more than forty years of July 4th and Thanksgiving reunions. Barbara was actively involved with the Spring Hill United Methodist Church choir and United Methodist Women. She was a loving, caring and strong woman who always put her family and friends before herself.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, James and Albert, and her loving husband of 68 years, Bob McKinley. She is survived by her daughters, Marsha Bennett (Carl) of Phoenix, Arizona; Suzanne Bennett (Ted) of Brentwood, Tennessee; Janet McKinley of Townsend, Tennessee; and grandsons Austin McKinley Bennett (Christina) and Connor Mitchell Bennett.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm and on Sunday, October 29, 2023 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the Spring Hill Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 5239 Main Street, Spring Hill, Tennessee. Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Sunday immediately following the visitation.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Good Days non-profit organization (www.my gooddays.org) to support those suffering from chronic eye conditions, or The Pat Summit Foundation (www.patsummitt.org).
SPRING HILL MEMORIAL PARK, FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES. 931 486-0059. www.springhill-memorial.com