Jim McKinney and Tom McGill

By Alice Andrews, Conservation Chair

Many of you will remember Bob McKinney. He served as President of the Pulaski Chapter back in the 70s. Bob’s brother James (Jim) McKinney, passed away in December 2018. He was born and grew up in Little Rock. graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Jim moved to Texas where he lived with his family, throughout his career. He was a faithful supporter of the Ozark Society for many years. Jim enjoyed coming back to Arkansas for canoe trips on the Buffalo River and hiking in the Ozarks. He was also a trail maintenance volunteer on Colorado hiking trails, always friendly, helpful and happy outdoorsman.

Thomas McGill, Camden, AR passed away in March, 2020. Tom was an active Ozark Society member for many years. He was very fond of white-water canoeing, a Boy Scout leader, wood-worker and very supportive in community affairs. He served his country in the Naval Reserve, having a memorable tour of duty as a naval gunnery officer. Tom graduated from University of Arkansas, returned to Camden to establish his land and timber business. He was a member of the Arkansas Forestry Association. He is remembered as a true southern gentleman.

Tom Meyer

By Joseph V. Meyer of Rogers, AR

Thomas C. Meyer, age 43, passed away 16 March, 2020. Tom’s health was severely affected by a tick bite which infected him with the Alpha Gal allergy. He had this allergy since 1995 and, because it was not well understood at that time, it was misdiagnosed for many years. This condition starts with high fever, ache joints, insomnia, serious upset stomach pains, memory loss, and brain fog.

In Tom’s case it was not until 2017 that a doctor in Bentonville identified him as having Alpha Gal, an allergy to mammal products transmitted by a tick.  Today, with an early diagnosis one can manage the allergy with therapeutics and a proper diet so it is possible to go on to live a healthy life.

Starting in the Spring of 2018 Joseph Meyer began making announcements at various Ozark Society meetings concerning his son’s health and attempted to educate the society of the dangers of this Alpha Gal allergy. Everyone is urged to get a tick panel test if any of these symptoms appear.

In 2011 Tom and Joseph were able to join the OS Colorado trip for rafting. Two rafters decided to run Brown’s canyon during high water event and Tom was the bow man on one of the rafts. According to his dad, he loved every minute of it.

Joseph wrote this ode about son Tom:

I know what the soul is.  A memory divine.
It floats in the ether where one is enshrined.
I know where the pain goes when we are apart. It flies like an arrow and pierces the heart.