James McKinney

Age 70 : The assistant plant manager played the saxophone and performed in a one-man band called Mambo Jim.

June 26, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun Reporter

James M. McKinney Jr., a retired assistant plant manager and a musician, died of a heart attack June 18 at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The longtime Dundalk resident was 70 and performed as a one-man band known as Mambo Jim.

Mr. McKinney was a 1955 graduate of Dundalk High School. He was an electrician at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point shipyard from 1955 to 1961, when he went to work at Raymond Metal Products in maintenance. Management at the North Point Road plant changed several times while he worked there, and he was promoted to assistant plant manager after it was taken over by National Wire Co.

After leaving National Wire, he owned and operated a home improvement business from 1974 to 1976. After selling the business, he owned and operated the old Southern Inn, a nightclub that he renamed the Kimberly Lounge.

A self-taught saxophone player, keyboard player and vocalist, Mr. McKinney comprised the band he called Mambo Jim, which performed locally.

He had also been active in southeastern Baltimore County politics and had been a fundraiser in Dundalk for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

An avid powerboater, Mr. McKinney enjoyed organizing a Fourth of July waterfront party, where he entertained family, friends and musicians.

He was a former member of the Dundalk Free Methodist Church.

Surviving are his wife of 24 years, the former Kathryn Gloria; four sons, James A. McKinney and John P. McKinney, both of Dundalk, Clyde McKinney and Jeff D. McKinney, both of Millersville; a brother, David "Bob" McKinney of Dundalk; nine grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. An earlier marriage to Barbara Borowiak ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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