Sharon Marie McKinley
Sharon Marie McKinley, 77, a resident of Cape Coral, FL for the past 19 years and formerly of Johnsburg, IL passed away Saturday, November 14, 2020 at HealthPark Hospital in Fort Myers. FL. Sharon was born July 29, 1943 to Mike and Edna Hajek in Chicago, IL.
Sharon grew up in Berwyn, IL and graduated from Morton High School in 1961. She attended Carroll College in Waukesha, WI for a few years before beginning employment at what was then called Atlas Forgings as a secretary.
It was there she met her husband of nearly 52 years, Jim McKinley. Sharon always liked to share the story of how she would take a coffee tray around the office and employees would pay a dime to contribute. Jim was new to the company and wanted a coffee but didn’t have the dime. Sharon “loaned” it to him and forever reminded him, “He owed her ten cents.”
They lived in Chicago and then Brookfield, IL spending weekends with Jim’s boys in Fox Lake, IL. In 1974, they made a big move and bought a home on Columbia Bay in Lake Villa, IL.
Sharon took on the role of stay at home mom and Executive Salesman’s wife for the next 20 plus years. She got involved with numerous organizations and volunteered at Meals on Wheels and The University of IL Home Extension.
She was very involved in their daughter, Becky’s childhood. Sharon volunteered as a Brownie Troop Leader and a “Room Mom” for many years in the school. During Becky’s high school years as a football manager, Sharon found herself next to all the boys’ moms making game day breakfast and holding special events.
As a salesman’s wife in a time much different than today, Sharon was always by Jim’s side entertaining customers and helping to grow a small forge shop in Cicero, IL into what would become one of the leading forge manufacturers in the country. Sharon spent many evenings at dinners with clients and their wives. Her home was the epicenter for entertaining. Between customers, sales employees, friends and family, the house on Columbia Bay was always hopping.
As Becky got older, Sharon teamed up with her dear friend, Vicki, and started traveling the world. They went to places that, at the time, not many did. She traveled to Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, and Siberia. Also making a trip to Prague to see where her grandparents once lived.
In 1991, they moved to a different part of the Chain O’ Lakes to Pistakee Bay in Johnsburg, IL. Quickly making friends and getting involved in politics. Sharon often helped with the campaign fundraisers of the local States Attorney and Sheriff.
In 1996, they bought a unique piece of property in Spring Grove, IL and affectionately started calling it, “The Farm.” Sharon found peace and enjoyment in cutting the grass on her John Deere tractor. She loved spending the day riding the tractor and having the dogs follow her.
Her grass cutting skills came in handy when they bought a summer home in Minocqua, WI with a few acres of grass to mow. Sharon loved feeding the deer up north and watching the hummingbirds on the screened porch. It is also where she began her enjoyment of going to the casino. She was a lucky lady – rarely leaving with less than she came.
In 2001, they moved to southwest Florida eventually making Cape Coral their home and making lots of friends in the community of Cape Harbour. As some of the first residents in their neighborhood, Sharon helped create “Sip and Dip” where neighbors would get together each week for cocktails and appetizers. An event that helped bring people together and build lasting friendships.
As a Southwest Florida Yacht Club member, she went on many boat cruises in the area and took on the role of the Commodore’s wife for a few years. She enjoyed playing Bridge and Mahjong each week and she looked forward to Sunday dinner with their close friends.
She is survived by her beloved husband, James McKinley of Cape Coral; two loving children, Scott McKinley (Jennifer) of Mauston, WI and Becky Monroe (Bill) of Sanibel, FL; her dear brother Michael Hajek of Leesburg, FL, nine grandchildren; Kristin Downing (Jeffrey), Lindsey Hosfield (Dave), Branden McKinley, Megan Galford (Nick), Stephanie McKinley, Abby Iden, Christian McKinley, Molly Iden and Lucy Iden and five great grandchildren; Josee, Oliver, Rubi, Arlo and Greyson. Proceeded in death by her parents and son, James Patrick McKinley.
A Celebration of Life for her will be held in December.
Memorial contributions in her honor can be made to Shriner’s Hospital, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607 or CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife – Sanibel, FL), 3883 Sanibel Captiva Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.