Johnny B. McKinstry, 69, of South Bend, Indiana entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. He was born on July 11, 1952 in Eutaw, Alabama. He was the son of the late Samuel and Mary C. McKinstry and was raised in a Christian home. He was no stranger to responsibility having six siblings under him.
Johnny was educated in the South Bend school system and attended the former Oliver School and Riley High School where he participated in track and football. He attended welding classes but he also had a bout with the school of hard knocks. His employment started out in the neighborhood grocery store. He was a general laborer and skilled mechanic at some of the best factories in South Bend and Mishawaka. He served in the U.S. Army and received an Honorable Discharge following his Tour of Duty.
On January 1, 1991 he was united in marriage to Jan Marshall — his only wife. They met through three matchmakers: his sister Juanita, his brother Bobby and Jan’s best friend Roz Thomas. He and Jan had a deep love for family so it was no surprise how protective of his family Johnny B was. He shared time, love, and support with family.
Through Workforce Development he participated in the Senior Aide Program and was a security guard at the Housing Authority where he worked with Barbara Lawson who he affectionately called “Boss Lady.” He was also a service activity associate at Beacon Health. He loved helping out with activities, serving meals and taking part in the activities with the residents at Heritage Square.
Johnny B. had an awesome gift of working on cars: something he really enjoyed doing. He teamed up with June Vinison as the Shade Tree Mechanics. He was always a generous and excellent cook and a master on the grill. Johnny B. always had the gift of gab and could converse with anyone on any topic; as Johnny B. grilled he cheerfully shared life stories while sipping and cooking. He loved music, playing cards and driving and was always willing to get you to your destination.
Cherished memories will be in the hearts of his beloved mother, Mary C. Walker of Utah, Alabama; wife Jan Marshall-McKinstry; two sons, Eric D. aka Gucci (Tequila) McKinstry of Indianapolis, Indiana and JaKaar J. (Keisha) McKinstry of South Bend; 12 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; two sisters, Geneva McKinstry and Diane Freeland both of South Bend; four brothers, Ray Charles McKinstry, Bobby (Shalonda) McKinstry, David McKinstry of Utah, Alabama and Sam (Doris) Reed of Burleson, Texas, along with a host of loving nieces, nephews, Godchildren, relatives and friends. Those who greeted him on the other side are siblings Truman, Larry and Micheal McKinstry; one sister Juanita McKinstry. His parents Samuel and Willie Mae McKinstry; a granddaughter, Sandy McKinstry; three nephews, James Thorpe, Ray Charles “RC” McKinstry and Ajurin Blake; a son he raised, JaMaal P. Davis and Mrs. Minnie Clark who lovingly called him Lil Brother.
Johnny B. loved his community and was an active member of the neighborhood group on the southeast side. He was a member of New Life Fellowship Ministry under the leadership of Apostle Charles Harris, Sr. He was on the security team and enjoyed cheerfully greeting those who came to worship. He lived at Trinity Towers and could often be seen sitting in the Fish Room smiling and greeting fellow residents. No matter how Johnny B. felt he always stated “I’m Blessed.” One of his final requests was that family and friends have a special relationship with Jesus. Sleep on dear Johnny and take your rest; you know we all love you, but God loves you best.