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John Peter McKenna, commonly known as Jack, Dad, and Grandpa, passed peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on April 29, 2021. He was 80 years old.

Jack was a first-generation Irish American, the son of the late Peter McKenna & Katherine (McGinty) McKenna of County Monaghan and County Donegal respectively. He was born on June 10, 1940 in New York City and was raised in Queens, N.Y. He attended Power Memorial Academy H.S. and served in the U.S. Coast Guard at the ripe old age of seventeen. A graduate of St. John’s University, Jack went on to become a career IBMer holding positions in sales and management, which enabled him to travel all corners of the globe. He lived by the motto play hard but work harder.

Together with his former wife Joan they raised three girls in Dix Hills, N.Y. and resided there for over twenty-five years. Jack wisely retired at the age of fifty-five and moved to sunny Florida. He spent his later years golfing, traveling, and dabbling in real estate. Jack was a proud member of AA for eighteen years where he formed strong friendships and devoted his time to hosting local AA meetings along with sponsoring members in need.

He loved the ocean, the lottery, and the New York Times.

Jack was known for his storytelling and his quiet wit. He was well-read on a variety of topics and happy to offer advice on any of them. Friends called him the professor. He would often be seen laying by a pool reading his paper within view of the Atlantic and an ocean breeze. Above all, Jack built his life around three core values: family, friends, and travel.

He was predeceased by his sister Kathleen Lorenz. Jack was a loving father who is survived by daughters Kelly (McKenna) Cruess and her husband, Ed; Michele (McKenna) Prestininzi and her husband, Greg; Karey (McKenna) Griffin and her husband, Justin; and his former spouse Joan McKenna. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren who were his pride and joy: Sean, Brigit, Cailin, Emma, McKayla, Jackie, Tommy, Ella, Mason, Chase, and Boden, as well as his many nieces and nephews. Jack left behind a legacy of love and commitment to family.

A Memorial Gathering will be held in his honor on Saturday, 6/5/21 from 12 to 3 pm at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ. Face coverings must be worn by all visitors before entering the funeral home and visitors are also asked to observe social distancing. Visitors are asked to greet the family and then exit the funeral home so that others may also visit due to the limited, allowable capacity.


Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740