Bill McKenna


Obituary: McKenna William, devoted husband of 43 years to Carole (nee James) McKenna, loving father of Shannon (Steve) Kane, Kyle (Meghan), Corey (Rachel), eternally proud ‘Gramps’ of Henry, Millie, George, Jameson, Elsie and Otto, dear brother of Robert (Diane), Patrick,…


McKenna William, devoted husband of 43 years to Carole (nee James) McKenna, loving father of Shannon (Steve) Kane, Kyle (Meghan), Corey (Rachel), eternally proud ‘Gramps’ of Henry, Millie, George, Jameson, Elsie and Otto, dear brother of Robert (Diane), Patrick, Daniel, Michael, and Mary (Glen) Vogel, uncle, cousin, friend and colleague to many. Bill died after a brave fight against this terrible virus on January 4, 2021 at the age of 64. The public is invited to honor a life well lived by taking part in a drive-thru visitation at F&M MAFCO on Thursday, January 14th, 2021, 4pm – 8pm, 9149 Dry Fork Rd, Harrison, OH 45030. A private mass will be held at Our Lady of Victory on Friday, January 15th, 2021, 11am, 810 Neeb Rd, Cincinnati OH 45233. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or Elder High School. Another perfect way to honor his memory would be to hop in a car, or on a motorcycle, drive aimlessly until you find a diner. Sit down and order a cup of coffee, a whole pie (or two) and make some new friends.
Bill McKenna lived a charmed life, breaking the land speed record of how lucky a man can get. He was born 64 years ago into a loving family of four older brothers and a younger sister where the value of hard work was taught by their parents, Bob and Mary. In his youth, Bill did a little bit of everything – paperboy, gas station attendant, mechanic – you name it. Before graduating from his beloved Elder High School, he started working with his father and brothers at F&M MAFCO. A little later, 43 years ago to be exact, Bill lucked upon marrying the love of his life, Carole. Together, these two would go on to achieve many things, but the most important to them was building a close-knit family of three lucky children, Shannon, Kyle and Corey. Those three continued that lucky streak by marrying three wonderful people who also adored Bill. And then came six grandkids, Henry, Millie, George, Jameson, Elsie and Otto, officially making Bill the luckiest man in the world. Whether cheering them on from the sidelines, singing their praise while they’re up on the stage, or just plain being wrestled down by a multitude of toddlers, Bill McKenna was the best ‘Gramps’ a grandkid could ever ask for. Almost ten years ago, Bill was lucky to meet a new friend, Bill W., and they were inseparable ever since. That beautiful friendship led to 3616 days of sobriety with the help and support of so many in that network of friends, but especially one person in particular. Bill’s sobriety was one of his proudest accomplishments and it brought out the very best in him and magnified his already generous spirit. Back at F&M MAFCO, Bill kept working hard, eventually becoming the Chief Operating Officer, helping the company grow into what it is today. In his time at F&M MAFCO he developed so many friendships with colleagues through his work on projects all over the world. One of his biggest goals in life was to have worked there for 50 years. Sadly this didn’t come to fruition, however, his spirit will forever be present at the company he loved and gave so much for. Ask anyone who encountered Bill and they will have a story for you about how kind, generous, genuine and easy-going he was. Deliberate and precise with his words, he was always assuringly honest, clever, hilarious, and chock full of wit and wisdom with a knack for knowing the perfect place to drop a certain word.
His many hobbies and interests included working on motorcycles, and riding with Carole on a mission to find the perfect diner with the best cup of coffee (or the best fried chicken, or the best pie, etc.), antiquing with his favorite ‘picker’ Henry, having good conversations over lunch, watching movies and shows with Carole and discussing them the next day with friends and loved ones. If there was a coin on the street, Bill would most certainly pick it up believing there was no such thing as bad luck. We believe that with his magic touch, Bill turned every coin he touched into a lucky coin. He was our lucky penny. As a family, we’ve always known how lucky we were to have Bill in our lives. This last month has brought an outpouring of stories and memories from Bill’s relatives, friends and colleagues on how lucky they were to bask in his light. We look forward to continuing to hear these memories and all the laughter they will bring. While we are utterly heartbroken to find ourselves living in a world without Bill, we are heartened by the reassurance that so, so many others also witnessed the effortless magic of Bill. We know you enjoyed the ride, Bill. We’re forever thankful for the opportunity to ride along.

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