David Edward McKenna 1946 – 2005
David Edward McKenna passed away at home in Centralia, on May 10, 2005, after a courageous fight against cancer.
David was born to Mary Joyce and Donald McKenna, on January 3, 1946, in San Francisco, California. His father was a career Navy man and Dave's early growing up years were divided between Boston, Massachusetts, and Toronto, Canada. At the age of ten, he came west on the Empire Builder train with his mother, sister, Donna, and brother, Michael, to join his father. He spent the next 43 years residing in Western Washington. He graduated from Edmonds High School in 1964.
In 1966 he answered the call to serve his country and was drafted as a Marine. He fought in Vietnam as a Lance Corporal Field Radio Operator with a tank battalion until his honorable discharge in January of 1968. The honor and integrity of the USMC has stayed with him throughout his life. He has always been proud of his service.
He returned to college and received his Bachelors and Masters from Western Washington University in Bellingham. He was hired by Mukilteo School District in 1977 as an elementary school psychologist. He returned to school and received his Administrators credential from the University of Washington and worked as Director of Special Education until 1998.
In 1993 he married Lori (Faul), and together with his daughter, Melinda McKenna, and her son, Jonathan Williams, formed a new family. He has always lovingly referred to Lori as his "Bride".
In 1998, they moved to Centralia, living closer to a large and loving extended family. Dave worked at ESD 113 and Lewis County Co-Op as the Director of Special Education supporting Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Thurston Counties. During that time, he received his Superintendents credential from Seattle Pacific University. In 2001 he was hired by White Pass School District as Superintendent of Schools, a job he loved and held until his illness forced his retirement in April of 2005.
Dave is remembered by those who knew him as caring and supportive. He was a leader who wanted to do what was best for students even when the decision was unpopular. He was a devoted Husky fan and avid golfer. He was great at making work fun and making fun work. He rarely turned down a golf game, or an opportunity to travel. He was a gourmet cook and loved to entertain at home for groups of family and friends, large and small. His most recent role as Papa to granddaughter, Jada, was one of his most beloved roles. Dave's sense of humor never failed him and he distributed advice to the very end.
He has family members who passed on before him, but is survived by many more who continue to love and remember him.
He will be missed by all.
Published in The Herald (Everett) on May 12, 2005