Vivian Jessup McKinnon
Vivian Jessup McKinnon
  • January 31, 1923 - February 23, 2017
  • Tennessee

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Vivian Jessup McKinnon went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 23, 2017. She was a longtime resident of Chattanooga where she raised a family with her husband, Jack, for over 50 years.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Vivian was the daughter of Vivian Norris Jessup and John Ivey Jessup, who owned a piano store. While still an infant, the family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and eventually to Greensboro, where Vivian spent the remainder of her youth. After graduating from high school, she worked at Belk's Department store as a buyer, and later was employed by her older brother, Jack, who was a CPA. She also attended business school.
In 1945, she met the love of her life, John G. (Jack) McKinnon, at a church social. Jack was an Army Sergeant who had just returned from duty in Italy and North Africa during World War II. Though he was scheduled to return to the war front, the Japanese surrendered, and Jack was assigned a post in Greensboro to help with soldier reassignments. In November of the same year, he was discharged and he and Vivian became engaged. Following their wedding in June 1946, they moved to Painesville, Ohio where Jack secured employment.
In 1959, following moves to Knoxville and Pittsburgh, they settled with a growing family in Chattanooga. Here they raised three children and Vivian returned to work, where she was first employed at the Chattanooga YMCA, then as the church secretary for First Presbyterian Church, and finally at the Chattanooga Speech and Hearing Center before retiring.
Active in church throughout her life, Vivian taught adult and early childhood Sunday school, was committed to prayer for missionaries, and was a dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Women in the church Ministry, serving at one time as President. She was an avid card player, gardener and loved to entertain.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Jack, as well as her oldest son, John Gordon Jr. "Don". Survivors include her daughter, Ruth McKinnon of Needham, Massachusetts; son, Robert (Marta) McKinnon of Goshen, Kentucky; daughter-in-law, Carolyn McKinnon (Wayne) Thompson of Blacksburg, Virginia; grandchildren, Ryan (Elizabeth) McKinnon, Becky McKinnon, Ellie McKinnon (Grayson) Thornton and Will McKinnon; niece Fay Cochran.
A memorial service will be held in the chapel at First Presbyterian Church, Friday, March 10, 2017 at 4 pm. The service will be officiated by the Reverend Gene Craven, who Vivian served with when she worked at First Presbyterian. All are welcome and encouraged to join this celebration of her life.
The family will receive friends following the memorial service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Gideons International ( or Changed Lives (
Arrangements are made by Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, East Chapel, 404 South Moore Rd, East Ridge, TN 37412.