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Barbara Clark McKinley

(June 9, 1933 - Dec. 28, 2011)

Longtime Sublette County resident, and former Powell resident, Barbara McKinley died Dec. 28, 2011, in Cheyenne.  She was 78.

She was born in Billings, Mont., on June 9, 1933 to Wynne and Doris Clark of Powell.

Barbara grew up on the Clark farm north of Powell and spent many happy days riding her horses over the rangeland. She attended Powell schools and graduated from Powell High School in 1951. She then began her studies at the University of Wyoming.

On Aug. 8, 1952, Barbara married her high school beau, Stuart McKinley, and they started their long life together. Both attended UW for a time before moving to Sandy Hook, N.J., where Stuart was stationed in the Army during the Korean War.

After Stuart’s discharge, they returned to Wyoming and UW, where Barbara worked in the Dean of Men’s Office and was a part-time student while Stuart finished his degree in geology.

Stuart’s work for Belco Petroleum took the couple to Central and South America. They made their home in Coban, Guatemala and then Guatemala City, where their daughter, Carol, was born. Later they moved to Lima City, Peru, where Stuart began mapping the Amazon Basin. During their time in Peru, their son, John, was born. Barbara enjoyed the challenge of living in foreign countries, learning the language and customs.

Returning stateside, they lived in New Jersey and Salt Lake City before finally moving back to Barbara’s beloved Wyoming and settling in Big Piney. Stuart continued to work for Belco Petroleum and Barbara resumed her studies. She graduated from UW with a degree in education and taught English at Big Piney High School for 17 years.

Barbara and Stuart moved to Daniel, Wyo. in 1971, where Barbara found great pleasure living on Horse Creek. After retiring from teaching, she began a long career of volunteering in Sublette County. She was a board member of the Pinedale Fine Arts Council, Sublette County Library, UW Alumni Association and the Green River Valley Museum. She was also a longtime member of P.E.O. and Artists Guild.

Barbara was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Survivors include her daughter, Carol (Karl) Atkins of Portland, Ore.;  her son, John (Kathleen) of Cheyenne; her brother, Wilber (Sue) Clark of Helena, Mont.; and grandchildren, Jesse McKinley of Billings,  Elizabeth McKinley of San Francisco,  Laura McKinley of Cheyenne, Ian Atkins of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Peter (Kristi, Hillsboro, Ore.) Atkins, stationed in Afghanistan.

Her husband, Stuart, died Oct. 1 at Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne.

A memorial service will be conducted in Pinedale at a later date. The family requests that any memorial gifts be sent to Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney.

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