Edward Cameron McKinney, age 89, of Austin died on Sunday Feb. 9, 2014. He was born on July 20, 1924, in Paris, the son of Charles Cooper and Ione Wright McKinney.
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Cameron grew up in Cooper, and graduated from Cooper High School in the class of 1942. He was diagnosed with macular degeneration at an early age, and the disease continued to worsen the rest of his life. In spite of his visual impairment (he was legally blind for most of his life, becoming completely blind about 12 years ago), he had an active life in school, in the Boy Scouts, and in the local Methodist Church. He was a skilled woodworker, and had an excellent shop equipped with a number of hand and power tools.
Cameron attended East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce for three years, and then transferred to The University of Texas at Austin in 1945 where he majored in pre-law and received a B.A. degree in 1949. He also attended law school, although the extensive reading required was a real challenge.
Cameron returned to Cooper and worked in his father's law office. He passed the Texas Bar Exam on his first try in 1949. He was elected Delta County attorney in 1952, a position he held for eight years. He was then elected district attorney (headquartered in Greenville), a position he held for eight years. He then served as Greenville city attorney for approximately eight years. Next, he moved to Tyler, where he served as assistant city attorney for approximately eight years on a full- and part-time basis until retirement. About 20 years ago, he moved to Austin in order to be closer to his sister and other relatives, as well as the many friends he met here.
Cameron was a member of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, and served in several offices, including president. Some of his visits to Austin were to work on legislative bills benefiting the blind. He was a popular public speaker, and was noted for his humor. He had an excellent memory, and was a superb storyteller. It is remarkable that, in light of his vision handicap, he had a highly successful career as an attorney.
For most of Cameron's career and after retirement, he lived independently in an apartment. This arrangement was feasible only because of the dedicated and voluntary help of his many friends. For a time, he had a guide dog. His first dog, Sasha, was cremated after her death, and her ashes were interred in the family plot in Oaklawn Cemetery in Cooper. Cameron's ashes will be adjacent. He had a second dog, Oscar, who also died while in the care of a friend. In April of 2007, Cameron moved to The Summit at Northwest Hills, where he could receive additional assistance.
Cameron was predeceased by his parents; sister, Charles Ruth (who died in infancy); sister, Mary Fred Galvan; a brother, John; and nephews, Charles and John. He is survived by nieces, Mary Lee Schani (and husband Phil), of Austin, and Martha Jane Walker, of Oklahoma City, Okla., as well as Charles' wife, Anita McKinney. In addition, he is survived by five great-nieces, two great-nephews, two great-great-nieces, two great-great-nephews, and one great-great-great-nephew.
Cameron was a generous person, and he greatly enjoyed taking his friends to lunch or dinner. He loved listening to music, especially classical, and his favorite TV was History Channel International.
No services are planned.
Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, 78705; 512-452-8811.
Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Feb. 12, 2014