Master Sergeant John “Jack” McKenney, 80, died peacefully in Thousand Palms, CA, on January 18, 2018, of cancer. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he served 26 years in the United States Marine Corps.
MSGT. McKenney was born on April 14, 1937, in Quitman, MS, to Thomas and Bessie McKenney. In 1957, he joined the armed forces and was assigned to the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC.
From 1962-1965 John was stationed in Atsugi, Japan, and managed 10 Marines to maintain readiness of F8U aircraft. During his enlistment he was also an instructor of Avionics, and continued responsibility for the aircraft and personnel. He was discharged with full honors in 1979 and was employed by World Airways as a Radio and Electric Foreman from 1979 - 1981 in Oakland, CA. In 1981 he was employed by Capitol Airways as an Avionics Manager from 1981 - 1985 in Smyrna, TN. In 1985 he was employed with McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Aircraft as an Instructor of Avionics Electronics. He retired in 1999 and traveled to see his children and grandchildren with his wife, Barbara, in their RV.
MSGT. McKenney was a brave and loyal marine, as well as a patient and loving father and husband. He married Barbara Jean Van Syckle-Caskey in Hayward, CA, March 16, 1977.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, John T. McKenney II, Mark McKenney, and Bobby McKenney; his daughters, Melodie Hall, Melinda Mills and Colleen Germain; his 11 grandchildren, his 21 great grandchildren and his two great great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Bonnie Jean.
A viewing will take place at 11 a.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cathedral City on January 28, 2018; services will follow. In the Spring of 2018, there will be an Inurnment Ceremony at Hebron Ridge Baptist Church, Quitman, MS. The family is asking that donations be made in John’s name to the Navy Relief Fund in San Diego, CA.