Nancy Jane (Porter) McKinney, born in Phoenix in 1928 to Bill and Bertha Porter, was a lifelong Arizona resident until her passing in the last week of June 2018 at the age of 90 in Scottsdale. She joins both her parents as well as her brother, Billy. She is survived by: her husband of 68 years, Dan McKinney; her brother, Thomas Porter; three daughters, Bryce, Kris, and Lisa; six grandchildren, Daynalyn, Joanna, Stacy, Brett, Kendal, and McKinney; as well as two great-grandchildren, Peyton and Parker.
Her mother often proudly declared, “My Nancy can do anything,” a sentiment proven accurate time and again by Nancy’s determination to accomplish her goals and endeavors. Whether it was achieving professional excellence as a realtor, crafting a perfectly formed ceramic pitcher, fitting a one-of-a kind handmade garment for her daughters and grandchildren, single-handedly repairing and maintaining the electric and plumbing in her family’s homes, or building shelves for the hundreds of books she read, Nancy took tremendous pride in her resourcefulness and capabilities. Nancy was also a gifted athlete from a young age and an award-winning All-Star at Phoenix College. Her athletic performance earned her a scholarship at the University of Arizona, where she was a member of Delta Gamma and crowned homecoming queen before graduating in 1950. Nancy met the love of her life, Dan, while at the U of A, thus beginning a seven decade love affair.
While on a date with one of his fraternity brothers, Nancy spotted Dan and declared to herself, “I want that one.” They married in 1950, raised their family, built a house in Scottsdale in 1957 where they lived together until 2018, and, in 1969, bought a cabin, her favorite place, that would become the destination for family weekends and holiday getaways. There, she helped to create countless lifelong memories for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She cherished her time with her family at the cabin taking long walks, playing catch, croquet, or horseshoes, and winning their money in more than a few hands of Gin. On the rare occasion it looked like a grandkid was finally going to win, she’d cheekily quip, “You wouldn’t do that to your little old gray haired granny would you?” a statement that carried extra irony considering she stood 6 feet tall.
She instilled a sense of “skatchabitch” in her children and grandchildren, a word only defined when she explained, “it’s exactly what it sounds like.” We understand it to mean courage, conviction, self-reliance, self-assuredness, strength, and resilience, qualities Nancy embodied throughout her beautiful life that live on in those who love her and were loved by her.
By Nancy’s request (if you knew Nancy, you know it’s more of a requirement, really) no services will be held; rather the family will have a private gathering. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of The Valley or Arizona Animal Welfare League in Nancy’s honor.