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Clifton "Paul" MacKinney

February 16, 1955 - June 10, 2023
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Brandon Solarez

Avenidas Cremation & Burial

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Clifton "Paul" MacKinney

February 16, 1955 - June 10, 2023

Clifton “Paul” MacKinney passed on June 10, 2023, after struggling 10 years with dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease.  He was 68 years old. He is survived by his spouse, Deborah (Fisher) MacKinney; brother Thomas MacKinney (New York); cousins Susan, Diana and Ken Thomas, and Phil Ralph.  
Paul was born in Queens, NY on February 16, 1955, to Shirley (Ralph) and Clifton Harry MacKinney.  They moved to Kings Park, Long Island when he was a small child.  He was a boy scout and loved the outdoors.  He collected beetles, tinkered with motors, rode dirt bikes, and loved to take things apart to see how they worked.  His desire for sunny skies and adventure brought him to Arizona in the late 1970’s, when he packed up his station wagon and drove to Tucson because “it seemed like a good place to live.”  He remained here, loving all the state had to offer—hiking, camping, mountain biking, four-wheeling, white water rafting and cooling off in a mountain stream.
Paul had a bold spirit as evidenced by many work experiences and hobbies, such as starting a video dating service called “Breakthrough Introductions,” working in Europe for several months, and installing a Chevy V-8 engine into his Toyota pickup truck.  He worked for 21 years at IBM in many capacities.  In later years, he worked as a handyman and groundskeeper and liked getting back to working with his hands and being outdoors.  
At times, Paul could be a little reckless and mischievous, and enjoyed being the life of the party.  He had a wicked wit that sparked belly-laughs and a knack at making sound effects that ranged from unique to annoying to utterly realistic.  He loved music, especially the Beatles, and his final concert was Rolling Stones, which he treasured.  He was a terrible dancer but that didn’t stop him.  He usually cried when he heard bagpipes and loved to go to the Celtic festival, but was never brave enough to try haggis. Other times, he was introverted and reflective, and chose to read and write and draw elaborate plans for house or vehicle remodels.  He probably missed his calling to be an architect or work for a motor corporation.  
Paul met his wife, Debbie, on a houseboat trip at Lake Powell.  He used that wit and sense of humor to win her heart, and persuaded her to leave Cleveland for warmer weather.  They recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.  He had a deep love and friendship with his in-laws, Ralph and Louise Fisher (Ohio).  Debbie’s sister, Donna Fisher, has four beautiful daughters, and he adored his nieces Carli Nation and Emily, Hannah and Greta Snider.  He spent countless hours playing with them and dispensing wisdom.  
Paul and Debbie served as youth coaches, became foster parents, and later he supported the theatre students at Tanque Verde High School by chaperoning trips and building sets for productions.  He also gave his time to ministries and local agencies such as auto repair, peer counseling, the food bank, building homes in Rocky Point, and faithfully donating platelets and blood at the Red Cross.  He was gifted at teaching and encouraging others.  He loved to play volleyball, ping pong, and racquetball.  He became a devoted Cleveland Indians/Guardians fan and enjoyed attending spring training games.  If we win the world series this year, it is proof that he has God’s ear. 
Forever the aquarian who grew up by Long Island Sound, he took every opportunity to visit the ocean, snorkel, and became certified in SCUBA.  He read all the Tolkien novels and loved LOTR movies, Harry Potter novels and movies, and finally got to experience butterbeer at HPW Orlando. In his later years, he became enthralled with Lego which was the dominating home decor for quite some time. He loved cars and trucks, and never met a Fast and Furious movie he didn’t like.  He had a sweet tooth that never diminished, and in his opinion there was no such thing as “too much hot fudge.”  
Family and friends would like to thank the numerous caregivers who have been an integral part of Paul’s life for the last six years from Aventas Home Care, Ocotillo House/AZ Homestead, Cascades, Park Senior Villas, and Pacifica.  There have been so many angels who made a lasting impact.  
If you would like to honor Paul’s memory, please consider donating to St. Luke's Home (, the Southern Arizona Alzheimer’s Association, or the Tucson chapter of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness).  Other ways you could honor his spirit? Visit a forgotten person in memory care, respect nature and keep it clean, offer cashiers a smile and kind word, and fill a sack at the community food bank.  Paul had an enduring faith in God’s love, and constantly sought to understand his purpose and place in the world.  He believed in eternal life, and was comforted by the thought that he could be together again with those who left before him and those who will come after him.  
An informal Scottish wake will be held Sunday, June 25, from 3-8 pm.  If you are interested in attending, please see the following link.

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Condolences 1

Mandi Caverly Debbie and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. During the time that I knew Paul I had the opportunity to experience his humor, interest in music/dancing & his forever love for his wife (Debbie 😁). I truly hope that your journey through this grief process is as gentle as possible and that you are always able to remember "the best times." You are forever in my thoughts.
about 1 year ago

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