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Services set for former Perry mayor

James Oscar McKinley
James Oscar McKinley

Services are set for Wednesday for former Perry Mayor James Oscar McKinley, a World War II veteran who was in the D-Day invasion. He died Saturday at age 93.

He joined the Army after graduating from Perry High School in 1943. He was in the second wave in the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, according to his obituary. He also served in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded the Bronze Star and the French Legion of Honor Medal.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Perry. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

Visitation is Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at Watson-Hunt Funeral Home.

After returning home from the war, McKinley worked at Penn-Dixie Cement Co., then later went to work at Robins Air Force Base. He retired as a computer programmer after 30 years at the base.

He was elected to Perry City Council and served for several years before serving as mayor from 1974 to 1980. According to his obituary, he played a significant role in the redevelopment of downtown, and he designed the Perry flag and stationery that is still used today.

“He set the groundwork for some things we are still working on now,” Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said. “He had a big hand in helping the city, specifically downtown, look as it is today.”

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mable Rigdon McKinley, and two daughters.

“He was always looking to serve others and help when needed, and often tried to anticipate what people needed and provided without question,” his obituary stated.

Condolences for the family may be left in the online guest book at www.watsonhunt.com.

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