Obituary: Richard McKinley
March 29, 1955 – April 7, 2022
Richard (Dick) Scott McKinley passed away at the age of 67 following a courageous yearlong battle with brain cancer.
In his shortened time in this life, Dick affected countless people with his never-ending optimism and his love for life. He greeted each day with his contagious smile, and he often reflected, “It’s been a great day!” His lifelong relationships with so many people made him well known in a variety of ways. Although always being a true cowboy at heart, his most important titles were that of Husband, Father, and Grandpa.
Dick was born in 1955 to George Burton and Harriett (Sunny) Marie McKinley in Boulder, CO. He grew up in Western Colorado where he learned to love the great outdoors, skiing, fishing, hunting, and exploring the natural surroundings. After graduating from Grand Junction High School, he married Michelle Patterick and the couple had two beautiful children together, Maitt Mathew and Mandelyn Marie. They moved to Mack, Colorado where he began operating the family ranch full time. To him, working on the ranch was never considered a “job” but instead, was an exceptional way of life. His experiences there and the many cherished friendships he made always remained an integral part of him.
Dick later met Carolyn and her two beautiful children Chelci and Jason Bruno. They began their loving and devoted lifetime together when they were married in December of 1990 in Grand Junction, CO. They moved shortly thereafter to Glenwood Springs where he began his career in the energy business with KN Energy and eventually earned the position of General Manager of KN Field Services. His entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic (often viewed as his stubborn determination), led him to start his innovation company, Fast Fusion, in 2003. By bringing a new method to the industry of fusing HDPE pipe, he quickly built Fast Fusion into a very successful international company. He was ultimately recognized by the Construction Innovation Forum for revolutionizing the industry by receiving the international NOVA Award, the “Nobel Prize” for innovation in construction. With the establishment of Fast Fusion, the opportunity came for Dick and Carolyn to be able to choose where they would like to call home. After exploring many options with their travels, they returned home to Colorado and settled in Palisade in 2006.
In his later years, Dick’s happiest moments undeniably came in the role of “Grandpa” to his granddaughter McKinley Marie. McKinley was a big part of his world for the past eight years and he cherished every moment with her. They were the best of friends! Many of their adventures were spent at their family cabin on Flathead Lake, MT. This was a very special place to Dick where he welcomed family and friends with the hope of creating long lasting memories. Always known to work hard, being at the lake allowed him to discover a new kind of joy and tranquility.
He valued his success in business, participation on local boards and commissions, and his philanthropic endeavors for his community. Trusting life always had a way of working out, his spontaneity paved the way for his opportunities in business, travel, and memorable life adventures with both his family and friends.
His legacy of love, words of wisdom, and pursuit of family will forever be remembered. He truly had a special way of connecting with others, confirming they were valued and understood.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George B. and Harriett (Sunny) McKinley; by his brother, Robert (Bob); and his son, Maitt Mathew.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Carolyn; his daughter, Mandelyn Huiras (Jim) of Solana Beach, CA; his bonus daughter, Chelci Bruno of Lolo, MT; his bonus son, Jason Bruno of Price, UT; his adopted sister, Karen Cowan (Bill); his brother, Thomas McKinley (Janet); his sister, Ann Gianinetti (Mark); his granddaughter, McKinley Marie Huiras; nieces and nephews, Sara, Kathryn, Thomas, Kade, Hattie and Megan and many great-nieces, nephews, and cousins
A celebration of Dick’s life will be announced at a later date as plans are made pursuant to his wishes.
Dick was passionate about contributing to organizations that would help change or enhance the lives of children and the community. Our family requests those who wish to show their support to consider making a donation to a charity or organization of their choice or to HopeWest Hospice, 3090 North 12th Street, Unit B, Grand Junction, CO 81506.
We will be forever grateful for the caring staff of HopeWest Hospice in Grand Junction, CO for ensuring the utmost comfort and care they provided.
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