“Fran” McCuistion was the daughter of Columbus Holloway & Emma
Winifred (Johnson) McCuistin and was born August 25, 1918 in Valley
View, TX. She and Robert Logan
McKinney, a young Army officer stationed at near-by Camp Howze,
married May 1, 1943 in Gainesville, TX. They had two sons, Robert
Logan Jr and Thomas Hal.
When Robert was released
from active duty at the end of World War II, the couple moved to
Kirksville, MO where he resumed his pre-war job at Northeast
Missouri State Teachers College (now Truman State University).
Fran joined the college staff as switchboard operator and supervisor
of the stenographic office. She also worked for a time as a
secretary in the Athletic Director’s office. She resigned in
1951 to take on the job of career officer’s wife when her husband
was recalled to active duty by the Army. For the next 14
years, the family lived wherever Robert was stationed, most of the
time in Washington, DC and Japan.
The McKinneys were assigned
to Japan twice for a total of about eight years, an experience that
would later prove to be of great benefit to Fran when Robert retired
from the military and the family moved back to Kirksville in 1965.
Fran returned to work at the college, this time as International
Student Advisor, a position for which she was extremely well suited.
She retired on December 31, 1995 after 30 years on the job.
Fran was active in
Kirksville community life as a member of the Sojourners Club,
PEO and the Monday Club. She was also a member of the Chamber
of Commerce, which inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 1995.
She died in Kirkville August 6, 2003 and was buried next to Robert
at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in Kansas. A scholarship
for outstanding international students was established in her honor
that fall and in 2005 the building previously named for her husband
was renamed to include her. It is now The Colonel & Mrs Robert
L McKinney Center.