OBITUARY: Chrystal Dawn McKinney

Chrystal Dawn (Partin) McKinney, 61, went to be with her Lord and Savior on June 20, 2020, surrounded by family at her home in Newton.

Raised in Ark City by two loving parents, Chrystal had a blast with her sisters as pals. Growing up on an orchard, Chrystal claimed she regularly ate her weight in peaches. See also: Chrystal’s love for pie, cake, sour gummy worms, ice cream and orange soda (from a glass bottle).

Chrystal and the love of her life, Rick, celebrated 40 years of marriage just two weeks ago. They raised their two kids, Cole and Paige, in Newton and continued living there for 35 of those years. Something Rick learned early on was that he had no business “improving” Chrystal’s various sports techniques, that she made the best birthday meatloaf, and that Chrystal’s charitable heart for others would be an expensive hobby.

Chrystal was nothing short of ambitious, and it wasn’t rare to come home to freshly painted walls or newly styled decor.

She graduated with a teaching degree from Southwestern College but enjoyed a career as an interior designer. Some of her biggest accomplishments center on her award-winning home design work featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine and her renovation and operation of the Antidote Salon & Spa in Newton. But she’d tell you these paled in comparison to caring for her family. Chrystal’s greatest hope was that her kids would walk closely with Jesus, and she endeavored to show them and their friends how great God is.

Chrystal had the secure quality of being able to laugh at herself, further honed by Rick, who loved to give her a hard time. Even to the very end, as she battled the loss of speech associated with Multiple System Atrophy, she never stopped giggling at Rick’s ridiculous antics. Every day was a party with Chrystal, particularly once her grandkids arrived. They were the joy in her season of suffering, and some of her last words unpacked her love for them. We miss her more than we can say and especially need her to fit “just one more cup” in the dishwasher.

Chrystal was an adventurer, dreamer, life of the party, cared deeply for the hurting, and had the heart of a lion. She was the first to say she’s sorry, the fastest to bury the hatchet, the quickest to laugh at herself, the easiest to approach, the best gift giver, and the bravest sufferer. She is now more alive than ever. Well done, good and faithful servant. You kept the faith, and we give God all the glory for that.

A service celebrating Chrystal’s life will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 25, at First Baptist Church, 200 W. Sixth St. in Newton.

Chrystal is survived by her husband, Rick H. McKinney, of Newton; son, Cole McKinney, and his wife, Rachel (their daughters, Arbor and Ava); daughter, Paige Pippin, and her husband, Drew (their sons, Andy, Brooks and Will); parents, Oscar and Velvree Partin; and siblings, Holley (David) Rosebeary and Lisa (Glen) Virden.

Memorials have been established with First Baptist Church of Newton and Good Shepherd Hospice in Newton in care of Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main, Newton, KS, 67114.