Larry Jim McKinney


U.S. District Court Judge Larry Jim McKinney beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle died unexpectedly September 20, 2017.

He was born on July 4, 1944, to the late Helen and Lawrence McKinney. He graduated from South Bend John Adams, MacMurray College, and Indiana University, Maurer School of Law. He received honorary doctorates from Franklin College and MacMurray College.

Larry served in the Indiana Attorney General’s office before he began the private practice of law at Rogers & McKinney in Edinburgh. Later he moved to Sargent and McKinney in Greenwood. He was elected judge of the Johnson County Circuit Court in 1979 and served there for eight and a half years. President Ronald Reagan nominated Larry to the U.S. District Court in 1987, and he served there until his death.

Larry was devoted to civil education. He worked tirelessly with the Indiana Bar Foundation’s program, “We the People,” educating middle and high school students about the Constitution. He also worked with high school moot court competitions.

His devotion to the concept of justice took him to many countries as a speaker for the International Judicial Academy. He shared our system of justice using his extensive experience as a trial judge to assist judges working to improve their own skills.

Larry’s belief in the need to provide opportunities for those leaving federal prison lead to his involvement in the REACH program. Larry’s ability to foster cooperation helped to build a team of dedicated professionals in the legal system, and students and faculty of the Robert H. McKinney School of Law to assist in the re-entry of ex-felons into society.

Larry was man of faith who served the Edinburgh Presbyterian Church in many capacities for more than forty years. His bonds with pastors and parishioners lasted a lifetime.

No one enjoyed children more than he. Larry’s grandchildren and children of family and friends were the light of his life. Grandpa Larry had a gift for bringing joy and laughter into their lives.

He will be remembered for his compassion, his sense of humor and love of learning. Larry believed in the worth of all and worked to help others be the best they could be.

Larry is survived his wife of 51 years, Carole; son, Josh (Veronica), twin grandchildren Jack and Helen and grandson Everett; son Andy (Danna); brothers Ed (Judy), Mike (Bobby), and their children and grandchildren; sisters-in-law Janet (Bill), Dianne (Harvey) and brother-in-law Jim (Sandy) and their children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Ann. In addition to family, Larry leaves behind a multitude of friends all over the United States and the world who treasured him.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Indiana Bar Foundation, “We the People Program,” 615 N. Alabama, Suite 122, Indianapolis, IN 46204; or the Edinburgh Presbyterian Church, 306 E. Main Cross, Edinburgh, IN 46124.

Funeral services will be private; a memorial ceremony at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse will be scheduled at a later date.

Arrangements made by Eskew-Eaton Funeral Home in Edinburgh, Indiana.