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Barry Slade McKinney, of San Antonio, Texas, a beloved husband, father, friend and mentor, passed away on November 28, 2022, from complications following a heart transplant. He was 53.

Born February 12, 1969 in Illinois, Barry spent a good part his youth in Texas, learning the fine art of hosting, feeding and caring for people from his mom who worked at the St. Charles Bay Hunting Club in Rockport-Fulton. He was a survivor of childhood cancer and a staunch supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital where he received life-saving treatment.

He graduated from Rockport-Fulton High School before attending St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. He went on to complete a master’s degree from Texas A&M University-College Station and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M-Kingsville. He worked in higher education for more than 29 years, working first for his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha as a traveling consultant. He went on to roles in residence life and student activities mentoring and advising students at Randolph Macon College, Virginia Tech University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

He worked at UTSA for more than 18 years where he helped create events that celebrated student achievement and programs that fostered student governance and personal development. He worked with students to create events that featured talent from across the globe, and became friends with many of the agents and talent he invited to campus. He also assisted students in starting traditions around the university’s new Division I football program, as well as solidified other programs that helped develop spirit, pride and tradition at the university. He loved helping his students fulfill their potential through leadership and had a way of challenging them that they appreciated long after graduation. He had a way of making each of them feel special and was known for his special sense of humor.

Through his involvement in the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, he connected his love of event planning to community fundraising efforts benefitting many non-profit agencies in the area. He cherished his engagement in higher education professional associations including NACA, NASPA, SAACURH, NACURH, and TACUSPA, where he supported the advancement of the student affairs profession and gained many colleagues who became friends.

Barry’s most important roles were husband to his wife Dr. Jan Wilson McKinney, who he married in Kingsville, Texas in 2004, father figure to Jimmy Pittman-Moore (David) of San Francisco, California, and father to Mark Wilson and Scott Slade, at home in San Antonio, Texas. He is also survived by his father Bruce H. McKinney, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family around the country, and friends who became family.

He was preceded in death by his mother Roberta “Bert” McKinney (nee Horrighs) in 2013.

Barry enjoyed all things entertainment, including attending concerts and theater performances, and watching reality competition shows and movies. He recently was especially inspired by the show Ted Lasso, and adopted the motto of “Believe” from the show in preparation for his heart journey. Barry and family wish to thank the family who donated the heart that gave him a fighting chance, as well as the expert medical team who cared for him, including the CVICU team at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio.