GAWDA extends its condolences to the friends and family of James McGarry McKenna, who passed away on Friday, July 31, 2020, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 86.

James was the beloved husband for over 62 years of Marie Staab McKenna;  loving father to daughters Linda Smith (husband Gary), Carol Lee Woodley (husband Dan), Mari Beth King (husband Rob), and son Garry McKenna, Jr;  proud grandfather of Tyler King (wife Anna), Courtney Smith Massee (husband Luke), Kara King Brunelle (husband Parker), Colby Woodley (deceased), Kelsey King, Leah Woodley, Morgan Smith, and McKenna Woodley, and proud great-grandfather to Rhett and Reed Massee,  Holden and Bennett Brunelle, and Slone and Madison King.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles Raymond McKenna and Mary Ellen McGarry McKenna and siblings William Joseph (Billy), Charles Raymond (Charlie/Ray), Rosemary McKenna Slack, Catherine Eileen McKenna Ingold Mickelson, John Edward ( Jack), Thomas Daniel (Tom), and survived by sister Ellen Elizabeth McKenna (Betty) McCullough; fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and many good friends.

Garry graduated from St. Luke’s High School, Carnegie, PA in 1952, played football as a freshman at Saint Francis University in Loretta, PA, then entered the Navy to serve his country in the Korean War.  He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.  Garry was the founder and owner of Chemweld, Inc., which supplies industrial fuel to the metalworking industry.  He was also a real estate investor owning several properties in Georgia and Florida.

He was a funny and gregarious gentleman holding the highest integrity in business and family life. He was always happy and fondly remembered by his grandchildren as Happy Pappy! He loved playing tennis in the early years and really enjoyed golf with his wife Marie during their time at Country Club of the South.  He loved socializing with his friends and family the most.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Garry’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at

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