Ann McKenna

Ann McKenna

1931 - 2024

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Obituary of Ann McKenna

Today our world feels a little less vibrant and interesting, but we are sure that there is one heck of a good party going on elsewhere. On May 18, 2024, Bridget Ann McKenna passed away at The Waterloo Hospice, leaving in her wake a life of laughter, loyalty, love, lively conversation, and a real knack towards accumulating insider knowledge of what was going on in the neighbourhood.  


Born in Toronto, on Canada Day, July 1, 1931, Ann came into the world a feisty redhead, the eldest child of six siblings of “Big Joe” and Annie Lynn who made their home in the east end of Toronto; Cabbagetown, and eventually the Beach. A St. Joe’s graduate, after working downtown for awhile, Ann and a girlfriend decided to seek adventure by moving to Vancouver in their twenties, and it was there that she met Neil McKenna.  


Newly landed in Canada from Lancashire and having locked himself out of his digs, Neil scaled the balcony, knocked on, and then climbed through, the window of their apartment, thanking the young ladies profusely for helping him out. When he left, Ann confessed to her friend she didn’t understand a word he said but she was smitten. Ann and Neil recently celebrated their 64th anniversary, a testament to their partnership, friendship, and rock-solid love that built a good life together.


After stints of living in a logging camp, they decided to move back to Ontario and settle northwest of Toronto. Neil began his career in the then startup, State Electric, and Ann threw herself into motherhood, community, and making a whole circle of friends, eventually settling in Schomberg, Ontario. As their family and business grew, they were always generous with others. Ann loved a party, was vivacious and outgoing, liked to sing, and was happiest when people around her were having a good time. A Canadian Club and Ginger generally hit the spot for her. She surrounded herself with good people at the house in Schomberg, at the cottage in Honey Harbour, and, after retirement, at Lake Haven in Dunedin Florida but, in true Ann fashion, there was never too many; the more the merrier was a view she took, and her life was the richer for it.  


Ann was the mother to six children, fostered and became guardian to others, and went back to work when the last child was enrolled in school. Eventually, as the household thinned out, and her children were building families of their own, she and Neil retired, moved back to southwest Toronto, spending winters in Florida, and eventually moving to Waterloo to be nearer to family. As a grandmother, she duly impressed grandchildren with her knowledge of hockey and baseball. We will never, ever again hear the theme from Hockey Night in Canada without thinking of her.


She leaves a large and loving family who will miss her laughter, her zest for life, and her absolute belief that all her children and grandchildren are destined for great things. 


Ann was predeceased by her parents Joseph and Ann, her sisters Katherine Thibeault, Margaret Harrison, and Doreen, and is survived by her younger brothers Jimmy and D’Arcy Lynn. Ann also lost her son, Sean McKenna, in 2005.


She is survived by her husband Neil Joseph, her loving children Stephen Boucher, Neil McKenna (Carol), Joe McKenna (Nadene Orsatti), Gerry Barclay (Tammy), Shannon Davis (Ian), daughter-in-law Katherine Henderson and many grandchildren who will miss their Grammy; Neil (Celina), Liam, Katie, and Michael McKenna, Sarah (Jacob), Ben, and Owen Davis, Evan, Ezra, Nolan, Otter, David, and Adam Barclay, two great-grandchildren Scarlett and Brantley,  and close friend Julia Troina. Ann had many nieces and nephews and adored all of them. 


Cremation has already taken place. The family would like to thank the caregivers at the Waterloo Regional Hospice. Special thanks from everyone to Shannon Davis who provided tender and loving support to her parents over these past many years in Waterloo. There will be a celebration of Ann’s full, rich life within the coming weeks. Flowers are gratefully declined but if you would like to remember Ann in some way, a donation to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or the Hospice of Waterloo Region would be very appreciated, as would taking some time to raise a CC and Ginger to a very special daughter, wife, sister, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and friend. Condolences and donations in Ann’s memory may be arranged through Erb & Good Family Funeral Home at or by calling 519-745-8445.


"Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand." (Trad. Irish Blessing)