In Loving Memory – Dr. Carol McKinney

Carol McKinney Program | Biography

Carol McKinney was born in Los Angeles in 1936, the youngest of three siblings. She grew up in southern California and attended the University of California, Los Angeles. Carol met her future husband, Norris McKinney, through an Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship group at the university . She next studied at Biblical Seminary in New York City. Carol and Norris joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in the summer of 1959 while they both attended the mission’s Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma. After marrying Norris in 1959, she joined him in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she earned a M.A. in Linguistics, graduating in 1962. Two sons and a daughter were born while they completed their university studies and prepared for missionary work. In 1967 the family moved to Nigeria , where Carol and Norris began to work with the Bajju people, first learning their culture and language, then analyzing their unwritten language to create an alphabet. They used the alphabet to write literacy primers and help translate the New Testament into Jju, the language of the Bajju. The translation was published in 1984. Their fourth child, a daughter, was born in Nigeria. After returning to the United States in 1976, Carol earned a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at Southern Methodist University, completing her degree in 1985. She taught anthropology at the mission’s International Linguistic Center in Dallas for several years. She also wrote two textbooks, including one with her ailing husband, and two books about the Bajju. Carol cared for Norris until his death in 2010 from Parkinson’s disease. Carol died on November 15, 2023. She is survived by her sister June, her four children and their spouses (Mark and Valérie McKinney; Eric McKinney; Dr. Susan McKinney and William Dorward, Esquire; and Christine and Larry Westerman) and five grandchildren (Ilsa, Fiona and Sophia Dorward; Louise McKinney; and Nathaniel Westerman).