Meet Frank McKinney. He's an amazing 104-year-old with quite a sense of humor! Frank lives in Scottsdale with his long-time friend, 90-year-old Alice. Not only has Frank lead a full life, he also believes in helping others. In fact, he may be Valley of the Sun United Way’s oldest donor!
Frank was driving until July 2015, when he finally decided to sell his car. “Too much traffic, too many accidents…it’s a nuisance not having car but you also learn it’s nice to have somebody else take care of you like this place,” he said. Frank lives in an assisted living facility where transportation is provided.
His first mode of transportation, though, wasn’t a car – it was a horse and buggy. One of his first jobs was driving a horse and wagon to deliver ice for “ice boxes.” Before that, Frank was already showing he had a business bug in him when he started his night crawler business. But he doesn’t recall having a favorite job. He found each one of them interesting.
Frank was born in 1912, in Moberly, Missouri. His dad was a dispatcher on the railroad. His mom was a homemaker.
Frank graduated from Moberly Junior College where he worked on the college newspaper. He graduated from University of Missouri at Columbia with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics.
Today, Frank says most of the chemicals needed for the products he worked on at Quaker Oats are now made in China and South Africa. Frank jokes about the products, “I’m not using it but someone is.”
He took a three-year leave of absence from Quaker Oats to enlist in the Army in 1943. Before leaving for basic training, Frank met Donalda Robertson. They married in 1947. Holly, their daughter, was born during their 37 year marriage. Holly and her husband, Steve, have two children. They all live in California. So, why doesn’t Frank live closer to his family? “I tell my friends I can’t afford to live in California.”
After losing his wife in 1984, Frank renewed an acquaintance with Dixie, living in Scottsdale. They were married from 1986-1998 and spent a lot of time traveling until she passed away.
Over a decade ago, Frank met his friend Alice through one of his favorite activities – dancing! They both enjoy participating in Senior Dance Club activities.
Over the years, Frank has enjoyed a variety of hobbies including railroading, fishing, reading and family genealogy. Now, he “enjoys reading and watching TV shows” like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.
After retiring, Frank was self-employed as a part-time consultant. But that gave him the time he needed to volunteer and give back. He made up for lost time, volunteering at a hospital pharmacy in Elgin, Illinois for 12 years.
Around this same time, Frank started donating to United Way.
“I’ve been donating to United Way regularly for some years. I’ve kind of lost track on how long. But I believe in it because I think the theory of it is good…it’s something everyone can participate in and the country can benefit in some small way,” he shared.
In fact, Frank believes everyone should get involved in giving to others in some way, especially when it comes to donating. “There’s more life in most of us…so even a small donation goes a long ways if it satisfies the giver that he or she is doing something.”
Frank’s only regret is that he didn’t start donating to charities sooner. “All-in-all to give freely and of your own good will is an important part of most of my thinking through the years after I left Quaker.”
Overall, Frank says it has been a good life. “I’ve been very fortunate.”