Robert (Red) Leon McKinney
Robert (Red) L. McKinney, age 72, of the village of Middle Haddam, East Hampton, CT, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, due to complications following a stroke.
Born on August 2, 1947 in Hartford, CT, Red was the son of the late Leon Edward and Minnie Theresa (Hickey) McKinney. A lifelong resident of East Hampton, Red attended East Hampton schools and was part of the graduating class of 1965. He went on to earn an associate’s degree from Mitchell College and bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University.
For 50 years Red worked as a chemical specialist with a concentration in metal working fluids. Red was employed by Anderson Oil & Chemical from 1970 to 1987 and then moved on to Witco Corporation until 1993, when he became a self-employed chemical specialist agent for Fuchs Lubricants. Along with his wife, Anne, Red was also the co-owner of HTA, LLC, a commercial and residential property acquisition and management company for 40 years.
Red found immense joy and personal reward in giving back to his community in East Hampton and beyond. Red began his community involvement as a member of East Hampton Parks and Recreation in the early 1970s. At age 26, he was the youngest member ever elected to the East Hampton Board of Selectmen and served from 1973 to 1977. A member of the East Hampton Democratic Town Committee from 1974 to present, Red served as Chairman from 1980 to 1990. Red has been a member of the East Hampton Rotary Club since 1974, the longest tenured member, and a Charter Member of the Old Home Days Association since 1978. The highlight of his year was the second weekend of July, Old Home Days weekend, when he had the pleasure of celebrating the people of East Hampton and surrounding towns, whom he adored. Red was also part of the Middle Haddam Library Board, a Middlesex Hospital Corporator and member of the Saint Patrick Church Renovation committee. Red was a volunteer emcee and live auctioneer, helping to raise millions of dollars for several non-profit organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, Gilead House, Hospital for Special Care Manes in Motion, East Hampton Lion’s Club, East Hampton Rotary Club, East Hampton Friends of Lake, East Hampton Volunteer Ambulance Association, and numerous other non-profit organizations and local charities. He will forever be remembered as a man with a microphone in his hand and the town of East Hampton in his heart.
Red has been recognized by numerous organizations for his community service, volunteerism and fundraising efforts. He is three-time recipient of the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award and, among other accolades, was honored as Rotarian of the Year, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, East Hampton Citizen of the Year, and above all, #1 Dad and Grandpa.
Red was an avid outdoorsman, who also enjoyed golfing, traveling and spending time with family and friends. He had the opportunity to travel the world, but found no location more treasured than his beloved town of East Hampton.
Red met his wife Anne (Coughlin) in 1970 at Wall’s Dairy in East Hampton. They married on August 2, 1975, which was officially proclaimed Anne and Red McKinney Day by the East Hampton Board of Selectmen, and together they raised four children in their home in Middle Haddam.
Red is survived by the love of his life, Anne (Coughlin) McKinney and their four children, Shannon Roy and her husband, Dan, Taren O’Connor, son-in-law, Brian O’Connor, Kirsten Penner and her husband, Kevin, and Ryan McKinney and his wife, Jessica. He leaves nine beautiful grandchildren, Colin, Elise and Sophie Roy, Nolan, Brennan and Teagan O’Connor, Owen and Lauren Penner, and Abigail McKinney, along with his tenth grandchild, due January 10th. In addition, his mentor and “big brother” Paul Peszynski, sisters-in-law Rita (Rockford) Gibbons, Denise Painter, Catherine (William) Holmes, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and countless dear friends. He is predeceased by his brother-in-law Kenneth Painter and his sweet niece Kelly Coughlin.
Relatives and friends may call at the East Hampton High School, 15 North Maple Street, East Hampton, CT on Sunday, December 29th from 3 to 7 PM. A Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated on Monday Dec. 30th at 11:00AM in St. Patrick Church 47 West High St. East Hampton, followed by a burial in St. Patrick Cemetery.
In June 2019 The Red McKinney Scholarship was established in Red’s honor by the East Hampton Rotary. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may send memorial donations to The Red McKinney Scholarship c/o East Hampton Rotary Foundation P.O. Box 358 East Hampton, CT 06424.
To send flowers to Robert's family, please visit our floral section.
Red McKinney Scholarship c/o East Hampton Rotary Foundation
P.O. Box 358, East Hampton CT 06424