Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | October 1, 2019

Friends of Forrest McKinley


Everyone who ever had the pleasure to meet Forrest and Pearl McKinley has happy memories.  For over 30 years, on Labor Day weekend we had a Fire Department BBQ.   As part of the fundraiser, you could buy tickets to dunk neighbors in a big dunking booth, filled with freezing cold water.  The photos above are from the Palomar Mountain Views book, Volume II, 1983-84.  At that BBQ, Grace Liebold paid top dollar for her chance to dunk Forrest McKinley.  Such fun times.

Most of you know Cliff and Susie Kellogg. Forrest was her dad and as Cliff said, the best father-in-law you could ever have.  Her folks were initially drawn to the mountain when the Lodge was for sale.  The asking price was $30,000 but he thought that was far too much for the condition it was in.  Ralph Kulk was the mountain Realtor at the time and suggested they look at land to build a house.  They made 80 acres their own and turned that into about 12 parcels, developing Palomar Vista and the Fern Meadow subdivision off State Park Road.

First they built a one room cabin, then the big home on what is now Chesney’s property.  Then they had fun building a log cabin on their largest parcel.  One of the original lots was sold to Tom Cunningham.  Eventually, Tom had cabin envy and talked Forrest and Pearl into selling them their charming cabin.  Forrest and Pearl took Tom up on the deal which included trading for Tom’s six acres across the road, that Forrest has sold him a few years prior. That was just her dad’s way of doing business.

It worked out just fine as Forrest and Pearl built the first and only ‘underground’ cabin on Palomar.  It was such a fun getaway looking out to their 100 year old apple orchard. When they moved off the mountain, Cliff and Susie acquired the underground and lived there, while they built their home.  They enjoy the family property to this day, thankful for her wonderful parents and the real estate venture that brought them to this mountain.

Please keep reading the tribute below and info about his service this Sunday:

image1 (002)   IMG_2379

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Aug. 23, 2019

Forrest Shields McKinley October 24, 1925 – August 9, 2019

Forrest McKinley passed away peacefully on August 9, 2019, at his home in Rancho Bernardo, CA, at the age of 92.

He was born October 24, 1925, in San Diego, CA to William and Betty McKinley. He attended La Jolla High School and after graduation he enlisted in the army where he met his future bride Pearl Fenton at Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg, CA.

Forrest and Pearl were married on October 25, 1947, in Compton, CA and resided in El Cajon from 1950 thru 1974, six years of which were as owners of the popular picnic ranch known as Holiday Ranch near Flinn Springs. They later built a home on Palomar Mountain where they lived for seven years until moving to Rancho Bernardo.

Forrest was a real estate developer and broker in San Diego County for over 60 years. He was a past president of the La Mesa Board of Realtors and the El Cajon Chamber of Commerce, served on the El Cajon City Planning Commission, was a licensed private pilot, one of the founders of the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in 1976  and for nearly 30 years he and Pearl played mandolin in the San Diego Mandolin Orchestra.

Forrest is survived by his wife, Pearl, daughter, Susan Kellogg and her husband, Cliff of Palomar Mountain, son-in-law, Joe Brunetto of El Cajon, daughter-in-law, Judith McKinley of Oaxaca, Mexico, brother Bill McKinley and his wife, Sue of Arizona; grandchildren, Ben McKinley, Melissa James, Daniel McKinley, Jake Brunetto, Anna Brunetto, Ben Brunetto, Dave Mendez, Elias Mendez, and Lucinda Konrad, plus 19 great-grandchildren. His son, Jon McKinley, son, Steve McKinley, daughter, Sharyn Brunetto and brother, Bob McKinley all predeceased him.

Forrest will be remembered for his great sense of humor, wit, wisdom and generosity. A life celebration will be held at 12:00 noon on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 at Marechiaros Restaurant in the Forrest Room (so named by Joe Brunetto in honor of his father-in-law), 14120 Olde Hwy 80, El Cajon, CA.

More photos are posted here .

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