Published March 13, 2020

TOPSFIELD — Gordon S. McKenney Jr., 76, of Topsfield, and former longtime resident of Saugus, passed away peacefully with his beloved family by his side on Monday, March 2, 2020 at his home. 

Born on March 3, 1943 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Gordon is one of three children of the late Gordon S. and Lois (nee Cheever) McKenney Sr. With his father in the military, Gordon’s family moved to many places during his childhood.

Originally from Melrose, his family settled back in the area, and he graduated from Melrose High School in 1961. While at school, Gordon met Janet Pearson, who would become his high school sweetheart, and eventually became his beloved wife in 1964.

After graduating from high school, Gordon enlisted in the United States Air Force, and served as a medic in Europe. After his honorable discharge in 1964, he and Janet moved first to Malden and then settled in Saugus, where they would raise their family. Gordon was proud of his service and enjoyed his work as a medic.

Gordon attended Newbury College on the GI Bill graduating with a bachelor’s degree. He went to work for Eastern Airlines and then Panalpina Air Freight as a Logistics Coordinator. He enjoyed his work there and took advantage of the many benefits working for an airline provided. He retired after many years, and many friendships made.

Family was most important to Gordon. He loved cooking for everyone, with his Prime Rib being a favorite of the family. He was exceptionally proud of his children and his adored grandchildren. He was often found at as many events of theirs as he could attend. One of his proudest achievements was being able to walk each of his daughters down the aisle at their weddings.

Outside of family, Gordon had a love of animals, especially his German Shepherds, fishing and traveling, with some favorite destinations being Tahiti, Rome, and other parts of Italy. They also enjoyed spending summers on Cape Elizabeth, Maine. One might also occasionally find Gordon at the casino having a good time.

Gordon’s warmth, love, and sense of humor will be missed by all.

Gordon was the beloved husband of Janet E. (Pearson) McKenney with whom he shared 55 years of marriage. Devoted father of Scott W. McKenney of Saugus, Dawn L. Pelletier and her husband Kevin of Topsfield, Diane L. McKenney of Charlestown, and Tara L. Levy and her husband Daniel of Haverhill. Loving brother of Alfred McKenney and his late wife Judy of Methuen, and the late Mildred Hembree. Cherished grandfather of Katy and Kevin Pelletier, and Cole McKenney and survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends gathered in honor of Gordon’s life for visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Thursday, March 5 with a time of sharing.

Donations in Gordon’s memory may made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN. 38105.

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