Garrett J. McKennaJuly 15, 1941 ~ November 17, 2017 (age 76)
Garrett John "Gary" McKenna was born on July 15, 1941 in Freeport, Long Island. His father, Redmond, was a high school principal. His mother Evelyn was a full time Mom. Both were strong influences on Gary’s character all his life. From his earliest years he loved living near the water and being on the water. In his youth he surfed and later took up boating. Often, he just liked to sit and look at the water, on Grand Island and at Lake Chautauqua.
Gary graduated from Hobart College in 1963. Having a people-loving and extroverted personality he found his perfect niche as a highly successful salesman for Hygrade Distributors. Friendly and focused on serving others he was equally at home negotiating with a CEO or demonstrating a product for the maintenance department. He was a problem solver and made himself available to his customers when it suited their convenience rather than his own.
Gary married Isobel 24 years ago after a long “informal engagement” of about nineteen years! Thus, he became a stepfather to Sean McDonald (Kelly) and eventually a grandfather to Hannah, Fineghan and Eleanor. Gary was a loyal and enthusiastic Buffalo sports fan for both the Sabres and the Bills through good seasons and bad. He continued his support even after he and Isobel moved to Naples, Florida.
Gary’s greatest gift was his genuine interest in other people. He remained attentive to his old friends even as he created new friendships. He was a generous and thoughtful host always ready to welcome guests into his home. He loved to talk to people, to hear their stories and to share his. People left Gary’s presence feeling better about themselves and the world around them. He was thoughtful and kind and appreciated receiving kindness in return.
In faith we believe that Gary has entered into the fullness of life promised by Jesus where there is no more sorrow nor weeping nor pain. But even as we believe that promise all who loved Gary will feel a huge empty space in our hearts and in our lives.
Friends may call from 2-6 PM on Sunday only at the HAMP FUNERAL HOME, Inc., 37 Adam Street at Seymour, Tonawanda. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 5480 Main Street, Williamsville at 9:30 AM on Monday, November 27; the Rev. Jerome Kopec officiating. Friends invited. Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Mary, St. Mary Center, 241 Lafayette Ave., Buffalo, NY 14213.