[nobe-l] Article About Priscilla Mckinley

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sun Dec 19 04:48:04 UTC 2010

>From: "Michael D. Barber" <michael.nfbi at gmail.com>
>To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 18:06:29 -0600
>Subject: [nfb-talk] Article About Priscilla Mckinley
>This article appeared in two different papers in Iowa today about the
>passing of Priscilla Mckinley.
>Priscilla McKinley Priscilla McKinley of Iowa City, and formerly of St.
>Ansgar, died on Sunday, December 12 at her home in Iowa City. Priscilla
>Leigh McKinley was born on August 10, 1961, in Osage, Iowa, the youngest
>child of the late Philip and Phyllis McKinley. She grew up in St. Ansgar,
>graduating from St. Ansgar High School in 1979. Despite losing her eyesight
>at age 22, due to complications of diabetes, and suffering serious health
>problems for many years, Priscilla lived an exceptionally full life and was
>an inspiration to many others as a successful, confident, and competent
>blind person. She earned her B.A. degree in English at the University of
>Iowa in 1993 followed by a Master of Fine Arts degree with honors in
>Nonfiction Writing in 1998, and her Ph.D. degree in Language, Literacy, and
>Culture in 2006. Her doctoral dissertation, Literacy in the Lives of the
>Blind, investigated how literacy practices of the blind have been influenced
>by technology and sponsors of literacy, including parents, teachers, and
>rehabilitation professionals. As a strong advocate for making computing
>technology more accessible and of exploiting that technology to improve the
>lives of vision-impaired people, Priscilla's pioneering approaches gained
>the attention of the popular press, and she was featured in an article in
>the New York Times and on the CBS Evening News. Priscilla won numerous
>scholarships and awards, including a 1996 National Federation of the Blind
>scholarship and a 1998 NFB TenBroeck Fellowship. As a graduate student and
>instructor at the University of Iowa, Priscilla taught many writing courses
>and was an engaging and beloved teacher. In 2000, based on nominations by
>her current and former students, she was named Blind Educator of the Year by
>the National Federation of the Blind. A prolific writer, Priscilla had
>numerous works published in technical journals, literary magazines and
>books. She was a seemingly tireless organizer and served in many positions,
>including vice president of the National Organization of Blind Educators, as
>a member of the Board of Directors of the NFB of Iowa, and as a mentor to
>many individuals who had recently lost their vision. She was serving as
>president of the Old Capitol Chapter of the NFB at the time of her death.
>Through her stubborn refusal to give in to the complications of diabetes,
>she defied the odds so many times that those close to her began to feel she
>was invincible. Known for her independent spirit, feisty character, and
>perseverance, Priscilla was able to find humor in the most dire situations,
>even if it meant laughing at herself. In spite of many health setbacks, she
>was able to go on and reach outstanding personal achievements and touch the
>lives of many individuals outside her circle of family and friends.
>Priscilla was a loving and devoted mother, a beloved sister and aunt, and a
>cherished friend. She will be missed by all. Priscilla is survived by her
>son, Jonathan Whalen, of Vienna, Virginia, her companion C. Thomas Foster of
>Iowa City, two sisters, Ann Randall of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Jane
>McKinley of Hopewell, New Jersey, two brothers, William McKinley of Madison,
>Wisconsin, and Philip McKinley of Okemos, Michigan, nine nieces and nephews,
>her sweet dog, Bella, and many relatives and friends. She was preceded in
>death by her parents and a sister, Marcia McKinley. A private burial will be
>held at the St. Ansgar City Cemetery. On Tuesday, December 28, at 2:00 p.m.,
>friends are invited to gather to offer their condolences to the family at
>the United Methodist Fellowship Hall, 510 West Fourth Street, St. Ansgar,
>Iowa. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 29 at 11:00
>a.m. at the Iowa Memorial Union on North Madison Street in Iowa City.
>Arrangements have been made through Lensing Funeral Service in Iowa City. In
>lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to the National
>Federation of the Blind of Iowa, 2721 34th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50310.

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