Michael Joseph McKenna

October 9, 1946 - June 11, 2017
Michael Joseph McKenna

Michael Joseph McKenna age 70 of Wilmington passed away Sunday, June 11, 2017.

He was born in Buffalo, NY on October 9, 1946 to William Timothy McKenna and Mildred Carey McKenna.

Michael received his B.A. in English from St. John Fisher College and a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

He held numerous scientific and managerial positions in the toxicology laboratories of the Dow Chemical Company and Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Company. After moving to Wilmington, NC in 1996, he was involved in research, executive management, and providing consulting services to companies and investment firms in the life sciences sector.

In addition to playing cars and trains and reading with his grandson, Mike’s passions included tennis, sailing, and traveling. Above all, his devotion to his family and friends will be forever cherished.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years Mary Radell McKenna, his children Molly and Ryan McKenna, as well as his son-in-law Jim Foti, and the light of his life, grandson Alex Desmond Foti.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 12 noon Friday, June 16, 2017 at St. Therese Catholic Church, 209 Lumina Ave. Wrightsville Beach officiated by Father Joe Vetter. A reception will follow at the Country Club of Landfall, 800 Sunrunner Place, Wilmington, NC.

Memorial gifts can be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation Endowment 1414 Physicians Dr. Wilmington, NC 28401
Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099


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  • June 12, 2017
    Deb Mosca says:
    Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. I met Mike 5 years ago when I came to Wilmington to lead a new non-profit organization. Mike generously agreed to serve on our board of directors and assume the Chairman position - which he held until 2016. His wit, compassion, and support - even after he left the board- made many days brighter for me. I will miss him greatly.

  • June 13, 2017
    Ron and Joanne Vigneri says:
    Condolences and Deepest Sympathy to Mike's Family. We played a lot of tennis together over the years and shared many fun times. This is such a shock. Mike had such personality and a great sense of humor. It was a pleasure to have known him. He will be missed, but leaves behind many warm memories, which is the most anyone can leave in passing. RIP Mike McKenna.

  • June 14, 2017
    Kelly Cahill says:
    A man like no other....full of laughter, grace, and love for everyone! Our hearts and prayers are with you. Love, Luke and Kelly Cahill