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Obituary for Robert "Bob" G. McKenna
Robert George “Bob” McKenna passed away serenely in the company of his loving wife and devoted daughters on July 12, 2012. He was born on January 10, 1934 in Holyoke, Mass. to Grace Marion McGrath and George F. McKenna. His father passed away when Bob was eleven. He graduated from Joseph Metcalf Junior High School and Holyoke Trade High School. Bob enlisted in the Air Corps N.Y. and was based at Mather Air Force Base in Calif. He was discharged from active duty and headed back east to care for his mother until her death. Bob then moved out west and continued his beloved trade of auto mechanics. Bob married Heidi J. VandenAkker after he settled in Sacramento. He then moved to Lake Tahoe where he owned and operated Bob’s Auto Clinic. He was involved in politics and even ran for Sheriff of Douglas County, Nev. In the mid-1970’s Bob and his family moved from Lake Tahoe to Oregon. The family was park hosts for Oregon State Parks, and his two younger children were homeschooled during that time. Bob was a devout Christian who instilled values in his children, taught them how to fix things, and how to live the “simple life.” He even taught the family how to rebuild a school bus into a motor home, which they lived in. In 1977, Bob moved to Harbor and opened B&J’s Auto Repair in the building next to Hanscam’s Store. Bob would teach the children the “trade” in the after school hours. Bob was well known around the Brookings-Harbor area as a listener, story teller, friend, alliance, confidant, and so much more to many people. He cherished politics and helped many campaigns. As a devoted 50-plus year “veteran” recovering alcoholic, he established the first AA meetings in the area, which continue to the present day. He was a sponsor and friend to many. He volunteered for the Harbor Fire Department and was the “burn permit guy” until his retirement. He supported and generously gave his time to any cause he felt supported the “small guy.” After he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s many years ago, he “officially” retired and concentrated on spending quality time with the family, including his children and grandchildren. His main focus was family and it showed in the way Bob cared for and cherished them. His wife and daughter, Johanna, took up caring for him until his death. Bob is survived by his wife of 42 years, Adelheid (Heidi); daughter, son-in-law and their children, Johanna, Jason, Samuel and Seth Broberg all of Harbor; son and daughter-in-law Robert and Erin McKenna of Alameda, Calif.; daughter Janet Grace Mitchel of Portland, Ore; son Chris McKenna of Los Angeles, Calif.; brother Richard McKenna and sister Marian Tyburski both of Mass; sister-in-law Ellen Ingram of San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.; and brother-in-law Cor Vanden Akker of Holland. He was preceded in death by his father, mother and daughter, Prudy. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on July 28, 2012 at Redwood Memorial Chapel, 1020 Fifield Street in Brookings. Burial at sea will be performed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net Submitted by Heidi McKenna and Family