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Surrounded by love, Ronald F. McKinnon, Jr. passed away peacefully after a brave and hard-fought battle with cancer.
Ron was born, raised, and educated in Stoneham, MA where his parents would live their entire lives. He was driven from an early age and learned the lesson of working hard for what you want. Starting with picking fruit and weeding on a family member’s farm, to driving vans at a NH resort, Ron never shied away from an opportunity. While he had a good attitude and work ethic, he lacked confidence and having an unsure direction out of high school as to what he wanted to do, he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps joining the United States Marine Corps. His leadership skills were quickly seen by others and he was promoted to staff sergeant in charge of many soldiers who continued to help him grow as a man. This gave him the confidence and bedrock foundation for the rest of his life. Once out of the corps, he established himself as a person with the utmost confidence never backing down from any challenge.
After being honorably discharged, Ron would once again follow the path his father set, completing his undergraduate degree at Northeastern with High Distinction (his father’s alma mater) and later finishing an MBA at Babson, Summa Cum Laude. He would later teach evening business classes as an adjunct instructor, something he very much enjoyed.
While obtaining his MBA and afterwards, Ron worked at a variety of jobs from John Hancock working with physical computer cards to managing several McDonalds. He next ended up at Bank of Boston, working his way up to Executive Vice President. Simultaneously, he joined the Board of Directors for the West Meadow Hill Condominium Association where he and his family resided. He was very passionate about his several roles with the association, but he was more passionate about the community itself. Ron crunched the numbers for every year’s budget, walked or drove around the property keeping his eyes on the work being done making sure things were going as planned, and on budget. He saved tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year with his dedication to ensure everyone at West Meadow had a wonderful and affordable place to live. Even as he became ill nearly 40 years after starting this role, he continued his efforts and commitment to the community. From his hospital bed Ron was on the phone working things, including calling the snow contractors late in the evening prior to this last major snowstorm to ensure “they were ready!”
Ron was a true renaissance man who had a myriad of interests and hobbies. He was always looking to learn new things and would socialize with anyone and everyone. When he got interested in running races, he quickly got the bug and would eventually complete 2 marathons (New York and Los Angeles) in the 1980s. When he then pivoted to skiing, he felt the best way to learn was to quickly move from the bunny hills in Bradford to double black diamonds in Whistler, British Columbia and the slopes in Colorado. Later in his life he would enjoy being in many candlepin bowling leagues to stay active and made countless friends playing and hosting poker games for the past 2 decades.
The one constant that never changed for Ron was a love of the water that never wavered. He always said that if he hadn’t gotten into banking and didn’t have such an interest in numbers he could have easily joined the Coast Guard and made a career out of it. He travelled to Borneo and Christmas Island to fish, where it was so remote there was no light to obscure the night sky. He was equally as content fishing the Outer Banks for tuna or bass fishing in the Merrimack River. For him it was just the act of fishing itself that gave him peace. From that love of water came a natural interest and love of cruising, something he did 40+ times with his wife, family, parents, friends… anyone that would want to go on a cruise was welcome to join him as he shared his love for the water in any way he could.
Ron was a natural born leader, it gave him a purpose in life like nothing else. While Ron loved being the one in charge, he was one of the most selfless people you could ever meet and being able to share and be generous with his family and friends gave him tremendous joy. He had an innate need to be the problem solver and the one that you could count on. One of his grandchildren once said "there wasn’t anything Papa couldn’t fix” and they were right.
Ron is predeceased by his wife, love and best friend of more than thirty years, Betty.
He is survived by his son Dan and wife Tricia, his daughter Lisa and husband Rob, his daughter Barbie and husband Tony, his brothers Dick and Bobby, and his many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and beloved friends.
Ron was never one to give up, and his perseverance along with the support of family and friends led him to a new chapter in life, where he found himself as Dad to an English bulldog, Dani (who he would affectionately refer to as the “Best Gift Ever”) and eventually lead him down a path to find his partner, friend, and love, Jesse.
Private services will be at Linwood Cemetery on Saturday, February 10, 2024, followed by a Celebration of Life for all friends and family at the West Meadow Hill Clubhouse, Haverhill, MA at 1:00 PM.
Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill. For guestbook, visit www.driscollcares.com