Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Willard Martin “Willie” McKinney

Willard Martin “Willie” McKinney, age 72, of Shelby, died Saturday morning, February 25, 2023 at Avita Health System- Galion Hospital following a brief and unexpected illness. Although Willie had a lifetime of health complications, he was always a fighter and survivor who continually had a strong desire and will to live.


Willie was born August 21, 1950 in Shelby to the late Ross and Vivian (Bly) McKinney. A 1968 graduate of Shelby High School, he furthered his education at North Central Technical College earning an associate degree in mechanical engineering. Willie was a firefighter for the Shelby Fire Department from April 2, 1972 – November 16, 1991 at which time he retired. On off days from the department, he worked at Robinson’s Hardware in Shelby as a small engine mechanic- something he also did as a hobby for neighbors and friends at his home workshop.


Willie was quite the storyteller who had an outstanding memory and impressive mathematic skills. He was a Cleveland Indians fanatic and loved everything outdoors- especially going to the woods to cut firewood and relaxing on his porch at home. Willie took up bike riding when driving was no longer an option and logged over 2,000 riding miles. He also thoroughly enjoyed watching westerns and especially loved spending time with his grandchildren.


He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Chandra Gwen (Biettner) McKinney, whom he wed September 10, 1976; daughter and son-in-law: Candace and Nathan Blunk; grandchildren: Juliana and Cassidy; sister: Kathy (Jim) Fidler; brothers-in-law: Scott (Heidi) Biettner and Shawn (Sherri) Biettner; nieces and nephews: Scott Rush, Jonathan (Kelly) Rush, Kyle (Charlie) Cooke, Kari (John) Nettle, Gabe Biettner, Ella Biettner, Kurt Biettner; and other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, Willie was preceded in death by his sister: Carolyn Lee Rush.


Family and friends are welcome on Thursday, March 2, 2023 from 5-8 pm at the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby where funeral services will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023 at 11 am. Pastor David Rentzel, Pastor of Abundant Life in Ontario, will officiate the services with burial following in Oakland Cemetery. Willie was an animal lover who adored his pets. For that reason, those wishing may make a memorial contribution to the Richland County Human Society via their website,


Online condolences may be left on Willie’s obituary on the funeral home’s website,, or their Facebook page,


To view Willie’s tribute video, click the link provided:

Memories & Condolence

  1. Charisse Finn says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. ‘When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.’ If there is anything I can do, please let me know. All my prayers and love I am sending your way.

  2. Deb curren says:

    My heart goes out to Willis’s family. I am so sorry for your loss. He was always a kind soul and will be missed

  3. Mindy Utz says:

    My deepest condolences.

  4. Joni Hicks Young says:

    So sorry for you loss
    Willie was always upbeat and helped us with small engine repair
    You and your family and friends our in our thoughts and prayers

  5. Julie swanger ensman says:

    So sorry Chandra for your loss. Willie was a great guy! Always so helpful. Remember his days at the hardware❤️

  6. Marilyn & Gene Hopkins says:

    Thinking of all the family, With Sympathy
    Marilyn Hopkins

  7. Sherri says:

    We’ll miss you. Say Hi! to mom and dad. No more pain. Remembering all the good times. So sorry Chandra and Candace. Love! And Cathy

  8. Gary E Johnson says:

    Sorry for your loss Chandra and family. I will always remember Willie at my dental office. We put a star by his name in the computer which simply meant I needed an extra 15 minutes for his appointment. The extra 15 minutes was to listen to one of Willies’ stories, which I enjoyed. The most common theme for his stories with me was always going back to our Little League days together, to this day they are always fondly remembered. Miss ya Willie.

  9. Ann Cooper says:

    Chandra and Candace I am so sorry I could not make it to the service today but you all have been in my thoughts and prayers. I will always remember the good times we had when we would get together. Love you both so very much. Rely on the strength of the Lord to help you at this time.

  10. Paula Jose Wheeler says:

    Chandra, I remember your husband well from my days at Shelby Hospital. Always an upbeat guy even with his health problems. Also remember your sweet daughter and her beginning nursing days. My sincere sympathy to you and yours. May your memories bring you comfort.

  11. Lola Clabaugh says:

    Kathy and family, We are so sorry for the loss. You are in our hearts and prayers. Jana, Lola and Viki



  13. Jim & Barb Eakins says:

    Dear Kathy and Jim, I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Willie very well, but he was always friendly and upbeat. Jim remembers him and Chandra shopping at Great Scot. The last time we saw Willie he came to the house with a son-in-law to buy a couple of pieces of equipment which we had for sale.
    Our condolences to Willie’s entire family. Willie lived his life to the fullest even when it was challenging. His absence will be felt by all those who knew and loved him for many years to come.

  14. Mike Sirofchuck says:

    I just hear of Willie’s passing. I have fond memories of when we were coworkers at Imhoff’s SOHIO. He was a mentor to Mark Davis and I when we worked on cars. He was a good man. My condolences to his family.

Leave Message or Express Your Condolence