John Reaney McKinley Jr., 86, of New Haven.


NEW HAVEN — John Reaney McKinley Jr. passed away Wednesday June 16, 2021, in the company of his wife of 66 years, Myrdith, and their three children, Cindy, Wendy and Bill.

John was born in New York City on Sept. 19, 1934, to John and Kennetha McKinley. In 1948, John moved to Middlebury, Vt., where he met many lifelong friends, especially Joel Fifield and Myrdith Benedict. John went on to graduate from Holderness and then UMass in 1956, where he studied Animal Husbandry and was a brother of Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR).

After many years, John married his longtime buddy, Myrdith Benedict in 1955. In 1961, John and Myrdith purchased Chalker Farm, where they built the foundation of their family. He is survived by his sister, Kennetha (Kenny) Bedford (Ted); and the three children he and Myrdith had together: Cindy Kayhart (Brian), Wendy Shaw (David), and Bill McKinley (Kim); and grandchildren Corey Kayhart (Elaina), Kyle Kayhart (Amanda), Kim Kayhart, Ryan Kayhart, Josh Kayhart (Lisa, Owen, Freya), Danielle Attaway (Henry), and Reaney McKinley.

John was a selectman in the town of New Haven for nine years and served as a Justice of the Peace. Additionally, John earned the title of Vermont Holstein Master Breeder in 1991. He spent his life serving his passions of local sports, animal agriculture, gardening, restoring tractors, and maple sugaring, and was an avid Boston Red Sox fan. He was in his glory cheering on his grandchildren in sports, he was an incredible role model and will be missed by many.

There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, June 26, 2021, from 2-5 p.m., at the Middlebury VFW, 530 Exchange Street. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Addison County Fair and Field Days (1790 Field Days Rd. Vergennes, VT 05491). To send online condolences to his family please visit◊


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