Meet the Humans of the Keys

Meet the Humans of the Keys

Saturday, February 13, 2016

John McKinna, Key Largo **RIP**


HOK: Our little community has taken some more big hits lately.
RIP John McKinna. He will be missed. We offer our condolences and deepest sympathy for his wife, Teresa.
From Teresa McKinna: “Our dear friends, I want you all to know that John passed with dignity and was in no pain. But for 2 nights. I was with him for the whole 17 days we tried to get him back on his feet. He was not alone and I was there until the end. I know he loves each and every one of you and so do I for the love you gave back. As per Johns wishes, there will be no viewing or service. I will plan a celebration of life and will make sure the information is out there so you will have time to plan. Your posts, phone calls and emails have kept me strong.”
"Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
-Ernest Hemingway
Here are a few of the things people have to say about John:
“John was not only a fine musician, but also a sailor, commercial diver/welder, oil well firefighter and best-selling author. He was a professional musician for forty years. He played lead guitar, bass guitar, banjo, drums and flute. During what he described as his classic rock period, he played with three bands from 1974 to 1982. The bands toured throughout the Northeast and Midwest US as well as Canada. The group produced eight albums during that time. After coming to the Keys in 1999, John played with some of the local greats including Jimmy and Debbie Hawkins, Steve Vinini, Grateful Ted, Luke Sommer Glenn, and Scott Youngberg just to name a few.”
“John McKinna was Operations Manager/Technical Supervisor, responsible for all systems relating to the upkeep and underwater management of the Jules’ Undersea Lodge habitat. He served in that capacity since 2002, and along with his wife Teresa was one-half of the team that kept JUL/KLUP operating safely and effectively well into the 21st century. A former offshore oilfield commercial diver with a 20-year career in deep-gas diving, focusing on construction and repair of oil production and drilling platforms worldwide, his skills and experience made him ideally suited to manage the unique requirements of the world’s only remaining operational habitat from the Golden Age of Diving of the 1960s and early 70s. John was also an internationally published author, with six bestselling novels to his credit, including popular diving thrillers and WWII historical novels. He and wife Teresa were year-round residents of Key Largo and enjoyed spearfishing, snorkeling, diving, sailing, and kayaking whenever their busy schedules would permit.”
“Author, Artist, musician, soldier, son, husband...and too many more to mention.....one of the most brilliant and interesting men I have had the pleasure to know. I am going to miss your provocative and informational FB postings. Who's going to play Jethro Tull for us? I'll miss your wicked sense of humor hiding under your genuine kindness. A truly authentic old soul. Gone too soon. “
“It is with pleasure, that I remember the details of the times I have spent with John and listening to him play. Whether it was about music, or history, writing or politics, he spoke with knowledge, wisdom, passion and honor. He was a true gentleman, with a devilish smirk, a wry wit, and a heart of gold. He had my back when I needed it the most, and always gave an encouraging word. I will miss you my friend, but I know this is not the end of the journey. I can still hear your voice, your music and feel your presence.”
John described himself as “just a regular guy.” I found this on his Facebook page, listed as his favorite quote:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with Talent
Genius will not; unrewarded Genius is almost a proverb
Education will not; the world is full of Educated Derelicts
Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.”
- Calvin Coolidge
 

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