Michael McKenna

Obituary of Michael Joseph McKenna

Michael Joseph McKenna (Mike), of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, passed away August 28, 2021 at the age of 87, surrounded by his family.


Mike was born April 26, 1934 in Antigo, Wisconsin to Clara and Eugene McKenna. He attended Campion Jesuit High School, a boarding school in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  He subsequently graduated from the University of Wisconsin.  While working at the BratHaus in Madison during school, Mike befriended several executives at Rayovac who, upon his graduation, hired him. He started his career in London, England, rising through the ranks, finishing as Senior Vice President, Latin America. Mike was on the Board of Directors of Rayovac International and ZC International. 


While at a party in London, Mike met an attractive woman named Gail McAlpine. Disappointed to find she was engaged, he asked, “Are there any more like you at home?” As fate would have it, Gail had an identical twin, Heather McAlpine. After a whirlwind courtship, Mike and Heather were married in 1960 and moved to Salisbury, Rhodesia, starting the beginning of their globetrotting adventures, which took them from Rhodesia to Johannesburg, South Africa, Beirut, Lebanon and Tehran, Iran, eventually finding their way to Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.


Mike is survived by his wife, Heather; children, Kelly McKenna of Duxbury, MA, Scott McKenna of New York, NY and Tracy McKenna of Doylestown, PA; daughter-in-law, Debbie McKenna of Gladwyne, PA and Michael Pinelli of New York, NY; grandchildren, Isabella McGoldrick, Thomas McGoldrick, Laura McKenna, Philip McKenna, William McKenna, Ian Infante, Emmett McKenna, and Harry Infante; siblings, John (Elsa) McKenna, Eugene (Didi) McKenna, Joseph McKenna, Kathleen Wilkes and Thomas (Jean) McKenna; and many beloved nieces and nephews.


Mike was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Mary Dwan and Patricia McKenna; and son-in-law, Michael McGoldrick.


A lifelong Catholic, Mike had a strong faith.  He loved his siblings, with whom he spoke to weekly, his children, grandchildren, and his lifelong friendships from Campion and Rayovac.  He also loved Island Creek oysters and an ice-cold beer, and collecting art and oriental carpets. He could often be found basking in the sun, gardening as he listened to Pavarotti and Clapton sing Holy Mother on his iPod.  He will be remembered as someone who viewed life with not just a “glass half full” perspective, but always with a “glass overflowing”. His most frequent response and favorite word was “wonderful!”


A Celebration of Mike’s life will be planned for a later date.


Arrangements by R.L. Williams, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. Skippack, PA.  www.rlwilliamsfuneralhome.com


A Memorial Tree was planted for Michael
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at R. L. Williams, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc.
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