McKenna, William Edward
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August 9, 1919 - April 29, 2011
William E. McKenna, a 45-year resident of Beverly Hills, passed away April 29th, 2011 at age 91. He was a World War II hero, having won an Air Medal, an Air Combat Insignia, and a Presidential Personal Citation. He also was a well-known corporate director and business leader.
Bill was born in 1919 in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated with honors from The College of the Holy Cross in 1947 and later earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1949. Bill served in executive positions at a number of companies, including as a senior executive at Litton Industries and Chairman and Chief Executive of Norton Simon, Technicolor and Sambos. In addition, he served as a director on the board of numerous public and private companies, including Drexler Technology, Midway Games and WMS Industries.
Bill was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. He is survived by his third wife Marcela; sister Kathleen; sons William P. (Mary Jo), Daniel J., and Paul V. (Karen); daughters Kathleen (John Wander) and Eileen (Martin Neumeier); grandsons William E. McKenna II, John P. Wander, William E. Wander, Paul J. McKenna, and Robert McKenna; granddaughters Sara Neumeier, Jennifer A. McKenna, Megan E. McKenna and Ann Marie Wander; and great grandson Zachary M. Wander. Bill was predeceased by wives Eileen McKenna (Sullivan) and Mary McKenna (Smith); sister Mary McKenna (Ostrowski); daughter Mary-Ellen McKenna; and granddaughter Heather K. Wander.
As a philanthropist, Bill generously donated to St. John's Hospital, The College of the Holy Cross, St. Victor's Catholic Church, and the Institute for Advance Catholic Studies. In addition, he frequently contributed to scholarship programs at numerous local schools.
Bill enjoyed playing golf, bridge and gin at Bel Air Country Club where he was chair of the infamous Garbage Group, gardening and participating in family activities. In particular, he enjoyed the time spent with his grandchildren.
Known to some as the Owl and to others as the Chairman, Bill's loving heart and playful style left a legacy to his family and friends of endearing memories of times shared together. He will be missed so much.
A rosary service will be held on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at 7:00PM at St. Victor's Catholic Church. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at 10:00AM at St. Victor's Catholic Church, which will be followed by an interment at Holy Cross Cemetery. The address for St. Victor's Church is: 8634 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. John's Health Center Foundation. The address is: 2121 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 3 to May 5, 2011