Jean Marie Davis-McKinnis HerStory
Jean Marie Davis-McKinnis, 89, of Junction City, KS transitioned into eternal rest on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at Salina Regional Health Center in Salina, KS.
Jean was born on November 28, 1927, in Washington DC, the daughter of James and Nancy (Hankins) Edwards. Her two brothers, James Edwards, Jr. (Ursula) and David Edwards (Muriel) as well as her parents, all preceded her in death. Jean began her career in Kansas at Kansas State University's Gamma Phi Beta Sonority as a housemother in Manhattan, Kansas. After three years, she moved to Junction City Kansas and began at the Geary County Sheriff's Office in May 1974 and retired as Food Service Director in 1995. She continued to work part-time there until August 2000. After retirement, she was a student at Cloud County Community College.
Jean married Joseph (Joe) M. Davis and both came to Junction City, KS in 1964. They raised four children, David, Dawn, Crystal, and Jason. Joe was diagnosed with Leukemia and preceded her in transition to eternal glory on July 26, 1984. Through her friends at Second Missionary Baptist Church, Jean met and married Cortez McKinnis, Jr. in 1989. They celebrated 27 years of marriage on December 31, 2016.
Jean was a member of Second Missionary Baptist Church where she served faithfully for more than 48 years. As a Servant Leader, some of her numerous activities included service as the Church Clerk (5 years), Vacation Bible School Director (8 years), President of the Beacon Light Union Missionary Department (3 years), Active member of the Social Concern Mission Circle (many years), Sunbeams and Red Circle/Royal Ambassadors Leader, Assistant Sunday School Teacher, Member of the Second Missionary Baptist Mass Choir (since 1968), and the Junction City Community Singers.
Jean had the wonderful opportunity to serve on the Junction City Commission Committee that, each year, selected citizens for the “Quiet Hero Award.” The award was presented to those who exemplified positive service to the community. That particular year, they selected one of our own, Mrs. Bernice Haten. Jean spent 17 years as a P.T.A. parent representing her four children and other children in the community. She worked with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration committee and Jean was also an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
In addition to her service in the church, Jean’s other civic duty was that of a certified Foster Care Parent. She cared for many young people and among them one young woman she loved and mentored, Ms. Jyarland Daniels. She was so proud that Jyarland received her law degree and is the CEO of a Detroit-based consulting practice. She considered Jyarland as one of her daughters.
One of Jean’s greatest loves was cooking. Many in the Junction City community loved her cooking and baking. Her famous fried chicken was known by folks near and far, and Jean was featured several times in the Junction City Daily Union for her service to the Geary County Jail, and other community organizations. Jean's integrity and service garnered her respect in the Junction City community. She was deputized by Sheriff Jim Gross in 1974 as “Special Deputy Sheriff” to maintain peace and dignity within the State and Geary County. Jean was a true Servant Leader where she assisted, prayed, and “fussed” at you when it was called for whenever and wherever it was needed.
To carry on the light and energy of Jean’s legacy, she leaves her adult children: David Davis (Raquel) of Chipiona Cadiz, Spain; Dawn Gallon (Eric) of Lakeland, FL; Dr. Crystal J. Davis of Junction City, KS; Jason Davis (Christina) Waco, TX; Pauletta B. Russell of Atlanta, GA; and Tamiko (Tammi) Coleman-Hall of Colonel Heights, MD. Her stepchildren include Angela McKinnis (Boston) of Topeka, KS; Tanya McKinnis-Hockensmith (Tony) of Lacey, WA; and Chandra McKinnis-Ward of Topeka, KS.
Jean is carried on in the spirit of love by her grandchildren: Joshua, Mileena, David Alessandro, Maria Raquel, Sierra, Eric II, Elijah, Victoria, Javon, T.J., Perris, Chyna, Cydney, Delana, Alania, Angelica, Tyler, and Khiry. Great grandchildren include Simeon, Mayson, and Ella.
Jean is survived by her loving in-laws: John C. McKinnis of Chicago, IL; Odell McKinnis of St. Louis, MO; Mattie McKinnis Hawkins of Cleveland, MS; William (Bill) B. Davis of Frisco, TX; Rosetta Davis of Junction City, KS; Patricia Davis of Kansas City, MO; Cordelia Davis of Kansas City, MO; Julianne Davis Barbera of Tulsa, OK; and Margaux Anderson of Chesterfield, VA. Jean leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and family across the United States. Special families and friends that Jean loved so dearly: Donald Latimer of Edwardsville, KS; Yvonne Scott of Upper Marlboro, MD; and the Mitchell Family from Jeffersonville, IN.
Jean’s testimony is, “I thank God each and every day for His mercy and grace. I want to live so that my work may speak for me.” Her favorite Scripture is, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31). Her favorite hymn is, “O’ I want to see him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace, on the streets of Glory, let me lift my voice, cares, are past, home at last, ever to rejoice.”
Memorial donations may be made at Sunflower Bank to the Junction City Juneteenth Community Association’s – Jean Davis-McKinnis Scholarship fund.