As midnight drew near on the night of January 24th, 2015, John McKechnie, age 96, died peacefully in the warmth of his own living room, surrounded by his wife of 67 years, Emma McKechnie, and his daughters Joan and Jean. Only the night before, he was holding forth on a favourite subject – what a fine thing it is to have a loving family ‘round you. John was born on June the 18th, 1918 in the Gorbals of Glasgow, Scotland, to John and Christina McKechnie. John had one brother, James (predeceased). Although the Gorbals was a notoriously tough neighbourhood, John was known for his kindness, humour, and gentle nature. John was a member of the British Royal Army Service Corps from 1937 to 1945, serving in Europe (Italy), North Africa, and the Middle East, and he exhibited bravery on the beach of Dunkirk, France during the evacuation in the spring of 1940. He spied his future wife, Emma, as she waitressed in a café. He ordered Bovril and brought her gifts of firewood. They married in 1947 and eventually resettled in Sudbury in 1952. John was employed by INCO in the carpentry shop at the smelter for over twenty-five years. John and Emma had two children, Joan Giroux (Jim, predeceased), and Jean McKechnie (Flemming Jensen). They had three grandchildren, Michael Giroux (Sherry Giroux), Stephanie Giroux (Geoffrey Rayburn), and Jennifer Giroux McKechnie. He was the proud Great-Granda to James, Angus, and Eleanor. John’s well-worn photo albums speak to the wonderful life that John and Emma shared. They loved to visit Cuba, and they cruised the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. There were many trips back home to Scotland to visit dear relatives and favourite spots including Rothesay. As a founding member of the Caledonia Club, John and Emma enjoyed many social activities, including dancing and bowling. John loved animals – especially the family dogs. He was passionate about football (soccer), and was a great supporter of the Glasgow Rangers. John was an avid reader, and loved to sit in his favourite chair by the window with a good book and a cup of tea, or a drink of scotch. John was sharp and could speak of world affairs from fifty years ago or yesterday. He and Emma played dominos daily; games ended abruptly when Coronation Street would come on. John’s sense of humour grew from watching first-rate comedians in the playhouses of Glasgow. A holiday was not a holiday in the McKechnie household without a poetry recitation by John. He loved the music of Al Jolson and Louis Armstrong. John told Emma everyday of their 67 year marriage just how much he loved her. John would ask that you love your family as deeply as he did, and that you raise a glass and have a wee dram (drink) to a life well lived. At John’s request, there will be no visitation. Donations can be made in John’s memory to the Northern Cancer Foundation or the Sudbury Humane Society. Arrangements entrusted to the Cooperative Funeral Home, Sudbury.
“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when… but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”