John Cliff McKechnie, 91, of Maitland FL, died on July 18, 2021.
Ambitious, determined, and always hard at work, John was born in Detroit in the 1920s, lived into the 2020s and, as he pointed out, well into his 92nd year.
John was born on December 16, 1929 to Ian and Claire (Kuster) McKechnie. He graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Prior to that he served two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss TX. In 1956, John married Lois Mercier and began building his family of five children. He accepted a job with Martin Marietta in 1962 and moved the family to the growing suburb of Maitland. He later worked at the Orlando Naval Training Center and Warner Robbins Air Force Base. During his career John was awarded multiple patents for a variety of technical inventions.
Always busy, there was seldom a time when John was not working on a project at his workbench or desk. Over the years, he bought a trailer and a tent and took his family on camping excursions, rented a workshop where he could create new inventions, introduced his three eldest sons to America on two epic cross-country automobile journeys and in the late 1970s, received his pilot’s license. He later bought a Cessna which he flew for several years.
To the end, his mind that had long focused on hobbies such as photography, sailing, travel, and history, remained sharp. In his mid-70s he decided he wanted to learn to play the piano. He took some lessons and practiced regularly to improve. He bought dozens of music books and would entertain anyone who visited with a song or two. In fact, he loved playing so much that he had two grand pianos.
Even his residence reflected his varied interests and active mind as he fashioned his home into the neighborhood’s most colorful and unique home, with the barrel-tile roof of a Spanish-Mediterranean resting above a multi-hued San Francisco-influenced painted lady.
He passed away peacefully on a Sunday afternoon, in his favorite chair. An ending just as he had wanted.
John was preceded in death by his wife Lois and his brother Jerry. He is survived by his son Kevin (Andrea) of Carmel IN, daughter Pat of Altamonte Springs, sons Craig of Casselberry, Gary (Nancy) of Mount Dora and Dan of Lagos, Nigeria as well as grandchildren Christina, Jennifer and Ian, brother Bud McKechnie and sister-in-law Arlene.
A private memorial service will be held.