Ellen Deborah Shepherd McKinney, 59, of Draper Utah passed away Thursday January 14, 2021 of COVID19 surrounded by Family and loved ones.

Ellen was the third child of Robert and Joan Shepherd who pre-deceased her. Ellen was born November 3, 1961 at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London Connecticut. She was raised along with her siblings in Ledyard Connecticut graduating from Ledyard High School in 1979. Ellen attended Mohegan Community College with a major in Early Childhood Education.

Ellen married Sean McKinney on May 5, 1990 and began their married life in Chesapeake Virginia until May of 1991 when they exited the Military and moved to Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California. Their son Kyle Aaron was born on September 28, 1991. They moved to Las Vegas Nevada in 2005 finally making their way to Draper Utah in 2012. They became members of Grace City Church which was a Church plant sent from multiple Evangelical Christian Churches and transitioned in April of 2017 to Hope Church, another Christian Church Plant in the Salt Lake Valley. Ellen truly enjoyed her bible study classes, singing worship songs, going to eat and fellowshipping with her sisters and brothers in the church.

Ellen is survived by her loving husband Sean of Draper UT and her son Kyle, his wife Brittney and her grandson Elijah Lee of Herriman. She is also survived by her Brother David Shepherd, his wife Ashley of New York, her brother Garry Shepherd of Murry, UT and her sister Carole Simpson and her husband Rob of Sudbury Massachusetts. Ellen is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Ellen loved to spend her time watching reality television and eating candy. One of her favorite enjoyments was her visits with her niece Jennifer, her husband Mikey and their many animals.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to Autism Speaks in Ellen McKinney’s name, https://www.autismspeaks.org/. The family wishes to thank the nursing staff at St. Mark’s hospital for their unwavering care of Ellen during her Covid19 battle.



  • Survived By
  • Sean McKinney, Husband
  • Kyle McKinney, Son
  • Brittney McKinney, Daughter-in-Law
  • Elijah Lee, Grandson
  • David Shepherd, Brother
  • Ashley Shepherd, Sister-in-Law
  • Garry Shepherd, Brother
  • Carole Simpson, Sister
  • Rob Simpson, Brother-in-Law
  • Preceded in Death By
  • Robert Shepherd, Father
  • Joan Shepherd, Mother

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jan 19, 2021


“In lieu of flowers...”


Personal Info


New London, Connecticut, United States


Draper, Utah, United States




  • High School
    Ledyard High School
  • Bachelor's
    Mohegan Community College
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NEXT Micki Taylor Micki Taylor


Ellen was a true friend, to all she knew, kind, caring, and compasoinate,she will be missed for sure, love ya, my friend, see you on the other side

arthur and dianna williams , versailles , MO, US Jan 23, 2021

Ellen was a light in my life. We had a wonderful time with her and Sean last year on an Alaskan cruise. We had so many laughs and great experiences taking in the beautiful sights of Alaska. We loved being with her always and will miss her sweet soul.

LynnDee Mueller Jan 23, 2021

I wish we could be there in person but with covid we cannot. You are my thoughts and prayers. I love you Ellen. I will continue to pray for you and the whole McKinnney and Shepherd families.

Patti and Bo Lawrimore , Anderson, SC, US Jan 23, 2021

Our thoughts a prayers go out to the family in this trying time.

H. Mark Hunter Jan 22, 2021

To Ellen you were such a wonderful person / friend & always had a smile on your face. I can still hear your contagious laughter & you always had such a great sense of humor.And to Sean & Kyle & family & friends my sincere condolences.Ellen I will see you again my friend until then rest in piece...

Buffy , Rancho Cucamonga, CA, US Jan 21, 2021

Born just 6 days apart, Ellen and I went through school together, rode bikes and went to the Highlands Lake all summer long! The days were so much less complicated than now, right down to this insanity that covid leaves us. My many thought, prayers and remembering the happy days Ellen places in everyone’s hearts. Her legacy, the ability to find good in everything and everyone she met! Love, Peace and God’s Blessings to you all!🙏❤️

Lisa Burgess , Micco, FL, US Jan 21, 2021

I will always hang onto our memories of stories and laughs and sharing conversations. I have lost a piece of my Heart that I will never get back. I am so happy we texted over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Prayer is the Answer. I Loved Ellen to the moon and back. She was a fighter through all her endurances. Sean; Ellen would want you to be strong-healthy and pray to God for the Thankfulness of all the years you had with one another. Most people never get the true experience of what you and Ellen had over the years of marriage. Working with Ellen at the credit union was something else and Thankful you brought her to visit Dave and I at our home. Peace Be with You. Amen.

Etta Nelson , Groton, CT, US Jan 21, 2021

She was our neighbor, a good friend and my kids babysitter. She and Carole were like family and spent much time at our house - next door to theirs.

She will be missed

Lori and Kelly Raffield , Ledyard, CT, US Jan 20, 2021

We are so sorry for your loss. I have known Ellen for very longtime. I moved to Ledyard when I was 6 and met the family shorty after.

Again Bill and I are very sorry for your loss.

Abbe and Bill

Abbe Varas (Brown) , Port Saint Lucie , FL, US Jan 20, 2021

I knew her when she was a little girl. Her brothers where always there with here

Mary Ross Barney , Brunswick , GA, US Jan 20, 2021

We are all so saddened by this tragic loss. May Ellen’s memory always be in your heart. She was a strong lady and loved by all.

Larry Serota and Family , Fountain Valley, CA, US Jan 19, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May Ellen Rest In Peace.

Nancy Shafman Kramer , Waterford, CT, US Jan 19, 2021

McKinney family so very sorry for your loss. I knew Ellen back when we lived in Connecticut. We had so many great times. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jeanne Muise , Exeter, NH, US Jan 19, 2021

McKinney family we are so very sorry for your loss of Ellen. We will see her again where she is free.

To know Ellen was to love her. We’re so thankful to have recently spoken with her and to been able to pray over her. Her beautiful smile and laughter will be missed.

We love you!

Jeff & Loretta Coles , Chula Vista, CA, US Jan 19, 2021

I’m sorry and wish I would have gotten to meet Ellen. Sean and I were roommates for a while in Sub School in New London. I’m not even going to pretend to know how you and your family feel right now after your tragic loss. I hope you are able to fill the void in your heart that has been created. Hold onto those wonderful memories you have of her and your time together

Bill Snook , Lewistown , PA, US Jan 19, 2021

Thoughts and prayers for you all.

Anne Ransom Jan 19, 2021

So sorry for your loss!

Mike Johnson , Laguna Beach, CA, US Jan 19, 2021

I’m so glad I got the privilege of knowing Ellen. Sean and I were high school classmates but had run in different social circles. We connected via Facebook many years later after realizing we both lived in Las Vegas. Then I got to meet Ellen. Instant friendship. I will always cherish my connection with her and Sean. Such a sweet, kind, and gentle spirit that will be missed by those of us who were lucky enough to know here. Thank you Ellen.

Erik Olesen , Las Vegas, NV, US Jan 19, 2021

Free to move about the heavens. Rest In Peace. Love Wanda and Archie

Wanda , Morris , CT, US Jan 19, 2021


  • 2010
  • 2012

    Bagel Cafe, Las Vegas, NV - a favorite of Ellen's

  • 2020
  • 2020

    I really enjoyed the time we spent watching reslity shows and laughing. She always loved to hear my jokes.. I will keep her dearly in my heart until I see her in heaven