Stephen Joseph McKenna

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WESTMORELAND - Capt. Stephen Joseph McKenna of Westmoreland passed away on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at his home, his family at his side, after a long battle with cancer.

Steve was born in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 3, 1960, to Joseph "Leo" McKenna and Florence (Gillis) McKenna, both from Prince Edward Island, Canada. After living in Boston through his early teens, Steve moved to New Hampshire, residing in Salem, Goffstown, Swanzey, and eventually Westmoreland, where he built a home in 2002.

Steve attended Woodbury Junior High School and Salem High School, graduating in 1978. He married the love of his life, and high school sweetheart, Nancy E. (Girard) McKenna in 1985. After working as a mechanic at Dobles Chevrolet for many years, Steve changed careers to become a firefighter, which would turn out to be his true passion. Steve started as a volunteer firefighter in Goffstown, and started the job full-time in Keene in 1995, where he advanced to the rank of lieutenant. Changing to Salem Fire Department in 2003, Steve advanced through the ranks, from paramedic to lieutenant, station officer, and eventually captain. Steve was also an eight-year member of the Massachusetts Task Force 1 Urban Search & Rescue Team, the National Ski Patrol, and the N.H. Fire Academy, where he was a long time senior instructor. More recently he worked part-time as the Technical Rescue Program coordinator, enriching the lives of many students and firefighters throughout New England. He received many awards over the years, including: John T. Ayres Fire Instructor of the Year; FIOANH ( Fire Instructors & Officers Association of New Hampshire ) Life Member, in recognition of dedicated service; and the Class 2 Medal of Valor. He also recently received a Letter of Commendation from Gov. Maggie Hassan in recognition for his exemplary work with the technical rescue training of hundreds of professional firefighters throughout N.H. He was also the owner and operator of Critical Angle, a company specializing in the training of this specialized technical rescue. As an instructor, he traveled all across New England teaching this specialized skill.

His biggest accomplishments, however, are his two sons, who he was extremely proud of. Steve loved going to their soccer games and ski meets and watching them grow into young men. Steve was passionate about kayaking on Spofford Lake, going on cruises with friends in the Caribbean, and skiing with his sons in New Hampshire and Vermont. He also loved traveling to Prince Edward Island each summer to visit family and friends.

Survivors include Steve's wife of 28 years, Nancy E. (Girard) McKenna, and sons, Douglas S. and Daniel P. McKenna of Westmoreland; mother-in-law Eunice E. Girard and brother Michael Pouliot of Salem; brother-in-law and his wife Allan and Joan Girard of New Boston; brother-in-law and wife Russell and Nancy Girard of Hampstead; many family members and friends from Prince Edward Island, Canada; and the Salem Fire Department, and the brothers and sisters of the fire service, whose outpouring of support will not be forgotten. Steve was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Florence McKenna.


SERVICES: Calling hours will be held Monday, March 24, at the Fletcher Funeral Home, from 2 until 6 p.m. A Liturgy of the Word will be held Tuesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. at St Bernard Catholic Church, 185 Main St., Keene. Burial will take place later in the spring in the family lot at the Village Cemetery in Westmoreland.

It has been requested, that memorial donations, can be made to the McKenna Children's Trust, c/o Service Credit Union, 403 Winchester St, Keene, NH 03431.

Fletcher Funeral Home & Cremation Services ( ), 33 Marlboro St., Keene, 03431 has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Published in Union Leader on Mar. 21, 2014
Arrangements under the direction of:
Fletcher Funeral Home
33 Marlboro Street | Keene, NH 03431 | (603) 352-4541
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