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Roy Edward McGinnis

Obituary for Roy Edward McGinnis

October 7, 1923 - February 19, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 94


Mr. Roy E. McGinnis, age 94, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Monday, February 19, 2018 at his home in San Antonio, TX. He was born on October 7, 1923 in Kansas City, MO to Edward Hubert "Mac" McGinnis and the former Lucy Rutt. He was preceded in death by his father and his mother, younger brother Robert, and son Bryan Stuart McGinnis. He is survived by his wife of sixty-nine years Carol G. McGinnis, his sons Ronald Edward McGinnis of El Paso, TX, Dana F. McGinnis of San Antonio, TX, and Leslie Kirk McGinnis, his niece Sandra McGinnis Lowe of Phoenix, AZ, his cousins Gene McGinnis and Jane Burke of Sun Lakes, AZ, his grandchildren, Julie McGinnis Flanagan, Zachary McGinnis, Sean McGinnis, Dana Lorez McGinnis, Jackson McGinnis, and great grandchildren Colin McGinnis, and Wyeth Flanagan.

During the difficult days of the 1930's Depression, his family moved to Los Angeles, CA. Soon thereafter, his parents separated and Roy helped support his mother and brother by throwing papers for two routes in the mornings and delivering the bread his mother baked during the day to sell to neighbors after school. He continued working in high school and college until he joined the Army Air Corps on March 1, 1943. He enrolled in officer candidate school and then in navigation school and was assigned to 1st Photo Reconnaissance Squadron of B-29 Superfortress bombers. At age 21, because a more senior navigator fell ill shortly before departure, he became the youngest navigator to guide a B-29 across the Pacific, flying from CA to Hawaii and then eighteen hours over open water to Kwajalein atoll for refueling before landing at a base on Tinian Island in the Northern Marianas. On August 6, 1945, his plane was in the air over southern Japan along with 605 other B-29s when the Enola Gay passed over Hiroshima. The following week, his plane and two others took low level damage photos of the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki.

After the War, he stayed with the Occupation Troops and was based at Kadena AFB in Okinawa where his squadron's job was to create an aerial survey of China. Despite countless hours in the air over China he had time to explore many parts of China, Japan, and the Philippines. In 1948, he decided to return to the U.S., spend his poker winnings on a new car, and go to fighter pilot training school in San Antonio. There he met his future wife Carol and married her three months later.

He was highly ranked in his pilot training class and was invited to join the newly formed Air Force Gunnery School at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas by founder Col. Johnny England, a WWII ace with 17.5 confirmed victories. There Capt. McGinnis was an instructor in P-51s and then F-86s, teaching flying, tactics, and gunnery to pilots on the way to Korea. He flew with the Air Force aerial and gunnery team, the Red Devils, until it was disbanded. After the war Captain McGinnis continued teaching gunnery, tactics, and nighttime instruments landings.

He left the service in July 1953 and started a civilian career with Silver State Saving and Loan in Las Vegas as a loan officer. Two years later he moved with his family to Del Mar, CA to accept the manager position with Seacoast Savings. Two years later he moved again with his family to manage the larger Humboldt Federal Savings of Eureka, CA. In 1960, he and his wife decided to return to Texas when he was offered the management of newly formed Alamo Savings in San Antonio. He stayed with Alamo Savings until 1968 when he departed to join friend and builder E.J. Burke, Jr. to manage Pecan Valley Country Club in San Antonio and help prepare it to host 1968 PGA golf tournament. Afterward, he started his own Construction Company, Roy E. McGinnis Construction, first building houses, and then general contracting. It grew over time with the help of his sons Ronald and Bryan.

Roy often sponsored members of the 4-H Club during the stock shows, served for many years on the Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee as liaison for the City to the vice commander at Kelly Field and continued to travel widely with his wife. Perhaps he was most proud of the time he spent helping manage The Winston School of San Antonio, a college preparatory school for talented students with identified learning differences, when it was having financial difficulties. The School is now doing well and is an asset to the community.

He was a great patriot, husband, and father. He will be missed.

Services will be held Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 12 Noon at St. Luke's Episcopal Church with a reception and lunch to follow at the church.

Interment services with military honors and a flyover will be held at the columbarium at the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, also on March 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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