Joni McKinney Burrell was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister to four sisters, aunt to 17 nieces and nephews, a faithful friend, and a proud Kaufman Lion. On October 1st, 2022, Joni went home to be with Jesus, safe in the knowledge that when she closed her eyes in this life, she would open them to eternal life with him.
Joni was born on September 27, 1973, to parents Jody and James Larry McKinney. She held a master’s degree in education and dedicated herself to teaching special education and coaching volleyball, basketball, track, softball, and tennis at the junior high and high school levels. In 2012, she married Adrian Burrell and they built a family with their children Dayne and McKinney.
Joni fought a valiant and fierce 10-year battle with cancer, looking it in the face and saying, “Do what you want, but I’m going to live my life.” She loved life and didn’t waste one minute of hers. She brightened every room she entered, especially if there was a party in that room. And if there wasn’t, she brought the party with her. Her friends and family could always count on her to make a boring event fun and a celebration phenomenal, usually by busting out the worm—her signature dance move.
Those who loved her thought the day she hurt her wrist and could no longer perform the worm was the saddest day ever.
We were wrong.
October 1st was. That’s when our world lost her brilliance, but we take comfort in knowing that Joni brought that color and light with her to meet Jesus, and now heaven’s sparkling like a disco ball.
Joni would be the first to tell you she wasn’t perfect. She was stubborn as a mule, slow to anger, but when provoked, it was best to run. She loved a cold beer in a Red Solo cup and the occasional cocktail, and no one laughed harder than her at an off-color joke. However, for those of us who loved and adored her, she was perfect.
Please join us at The Kaufman Church of Christ for a visitation Thursday, 10/6/2022, from 6:00 pm–8:00 pm, and Joni’s celebration of life on Saturday, 10/8/2022, at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center.