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Richard E. McKinnon, lifelong Cambridge resident, passed away at age 73 on October 28. 2020 at Mass General Hospital.

He leaves behind his sister, Margaret McKinnon of Pensacola, his children, Luke McKinnon and his partner Leah Milby of Cambridge and Jessica Lynch of Centerville. Anyone he met knew he was a devoted grandfather who loved his grandchildren, Ella Lynch, Luke Richard McKinnon, Boston McKinnon, Declan Lynch, Shyah McKinnon and Lola Fisher. He will be missed by his many life-long friends, especially Mai Le and Adriana Benjamin who were constants in his life for decades.   

Throughout all his endeavors, Richard maintained a generous spirit, never waited in a line, and like a true Irishman, a tune on his lips often preceded him into a room. A life-long Cantabrigian, Richard left his mark on the city at every stage of his life, whether it was being the quarterback at Cambridge Latin, studying philosophy at Harvard, working alongside Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci at Cambridge City Hall, or welcoming the band U2 to his club Nightstage/Indigo in the 1990s.   

In addition to his proudest accomplishment of becoming a grandfather, he was the owner of McKinnon Company, a development firm that helped change the landscape of NorthPoint, CambridgeSide, and CambridgePark. His spirit lives on in the vibrant spaces he helped to create for the people of the city he loved.   

Visiting hours at the Rogers Funeral Home, 380 Cambridge St., in Cambridge on Monday, November 2, 2020 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Due to Covid – 19 and Massachusetts Tracing Guidelines, the funeral home is limited to 32 people inside the funeral home and a mask must be worn at all times.   

The funeral home & the family are asking those who plan to attend to please come in, maintain social distancing guidelines, pay your condolences and then exit to make it possible for others to do the same.   

There will be a graveside service held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at the Cambridge Cemetery, 76 Coolidge Avenue in Cambridge. Anyone wishing to be part of the funeral procession from Rogers Funeral Home to Cambridge Cemetery, should arrive at the funeral at 9:00 am.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in Richard’s memory to the  East Cambridge Scholarship Fund, at www.theecsf.org or to the East End House, at www.eastendhouse.org.

Comments   

# Peter Crawley 2020-10-30 05:14
I came into contact with Rich during the review of real estate developments in East Cambridge. Though projects might have been controversial and meetings sometimes tense, Rich had a way of bringing humor and friendliness to the room that reminded us that we were all neighbors. His presence will be missed, but his accomplishments remain as gifts to the community he loved.
# Betty Saccoccio 2020-10-30 10:22
A real loss for East Cambridge. Your presence will be remembered when at meetings and East Cambridge you helped developed. Thank you for all you have done. RIP.
# Fabrizio Gentili 2020-10-30 12:20
Rich, your welcoming and genuine smile is an inspiration to the community, a demonstration that interests can converge to a better plan for all. Many will enjoy what you leave behind, may earth be light, rest assured your memory cherished. ciao my friend
# Audrey Cunningham 2020-10-30 14:09
Rich was a wonderful man--always kind and respectful of everyone. He was always so nice to me and a great friend to my mother, who thought the world of him. Although he represented developers, he always had a sense of community and an attentive ear to the desires of the neighborhood; he really cared about the people of East Cambridge. He will be sorely missed.
# Artie Roderick 2020-10-30 14:20
Richie andI became friends when we were 13,we met at
Cambridge park.He was the most loyal friend I ever had for the last 63 years.We had many adventures together and literally had my back and I his many times tru those 63 years,he will be greatly missed.
Artie
# Mary-Ann Donofrio 2020-10-30 15:09
I've know Rich since High School. He always had a smile on his face and a greeting for you even if you disagreed with him. Him and I always agreed to disagree about part of his project. When the meeting was over he would always come over and give me a hug or nudge. He was a friend to many. He was a friend of East Cambridge. He fought for the good of the neighborhood. He was always ready to help those who needed it. Rich you will be missed. . When I look at your projects and see the high buildings I know you will be looking down and smiling. God Bless
# Jan Devereux 2020-10-31 11:08
I was so sad to hear of Rich's passing and send my deep condolences to his family and many loyal friends. Rich was unfailingly kind to me even when we disagreed. I never doubted that he wanted the best for his beloved Cambridge. He never missed a chance to tell me about his grandchildren and how proud of his family he was. I’m very glad I got to know Rich.
# Barbara Broussard 2020-10-31 13:31
Rich you will be sorely missed by the East Cambridge community and beyond. As President of ECPT, I could always count on you for help be it financing our T-shirt venture or reduced parking for residents in the mall.
You attended meetings and listened to neighbors’ concerns. You made changes to better your projects and reflect community needs
Your warm smile and welcoming demeanor put everyone at ease. You were a true treasure.
# Gary Vrotsos 2020-10-31 21:28
Rich and I grew up together on Leonard Ave since we were born. We went through many rites of passage together like First Communion, Confirmation, then graduating from High School the same year. We enjoyed swimming at the Cambridge war memorial on Cambridge st ,hanging around Harvard sq, playing baseball at the Cambridge common, and seeing the fourth of July fireworks at the Cambridge Common. Although friends go separate ways as they get older we always had a deep bonding relationship from the start that never faltered. Our families were close because thats the way it was in "Old Cambridge". All the kids on our street played together and got along .
He was a special guy and very good at his job and will be sorely missed by friends from all walks of life. To me he was like a brother and will always have a place in my heart. RIP my good friend!
# Susan Johansen 2020-10-31 22:01
Although I am a newcomer to East Cambridge and the East Cambridge Planning Team (12 years), Rich welcomed and acknowledged me as though I were a longtime friend and associate. Rich cared about and was very generous to our Neighborhood and attended many ECPT meetings over the years He will be so missed for his kindness, generosity, and willingness to listen.
Rich, please know that I will smile when I think of you!
# maureen nicoloro 2020-11-01 19:57
My sincere condolences to the family on the passing of a terrific guy. Many fond memories over the years especially Longfellow School and C.H.L.S.
Class 65. R.I.P. Rich


.
# Maureen Ford 2020-11-02 00:32
My condolences to Rich’s family. He was a true friend and a great guy who has done so much for so many people.

May you Rest In Peace Rich. Thank you for being so good to East Cambridge.
# Marie E. Saccoccio 2020-11-02 02:13
Two years ago I was anonymously contacted and dragged into the Inman Square debacle and destruction of Vellucci Park. I had no idea who the anonymous emailer was but he/she definitely got my interest. Fast forward, I worked with a great group of longtime Inman Square residents, mostly white haired and mostly owners, all opposed to the destruction of Vellucci Park. At the Council hearing I blasted the sitting Councilors for callously ordering the profoundly disrespectful treatment of our former Mayor.
At Council I argued that with a six-grade education Al Vellucci could competently and confidently oppose Harvard University and MIT and stand his ground. Just as those words came out I got this email from Rich:

Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 7:01 PM

Marie ,

Beautifully said.

Thanks for that ,


Rich


Chief of Staff
Mayor Al Vellucci
1976/77
1982/83

Proudly


:-)
# Chuck Hinds 2020-11-02 04:30
Rich always had a big place in his heart for East Cambridge and the people who lived here. He was loved and will be greatly missed.
# Tom and Beth Healey 2020-11-02 15:18
Richard was a lifelong, loyal friend. Not too long ago, Richie visited my mom prior to her passing. He spent the afternoon reminiscing about the old neighborhood. My mom had dementia, and his visit perked her up and brought her comfort. It was so lovely to see, and she talked about him for days. It meant a great deal to the family.
His friendship and kindness will be missed.
Tom and Beth Healey
# ilan levy 2020-11-02 16:30
I met Rich through the ECPT meetings. He was a force of nature, always kind, always ready to talk. He was a source of knowledge and wisdom. But what made him so special was his warmth, charm, and empathy. When talking to Rich, you always felt you were the most important person in the world. Rich, we already miss you. My thoughts go to his family. RIP.
# Heather Hoffman 2020-11-02 19:10
Rich put people first. He knew it was more important to come out of the discussion of a project as friends who had disagreed about something and made it better together than as a winner and a loser. Anybody who wanted to work with him had to understand that basic rule. That way of approaching life and business is fast disappearing in this increasingly polarized time. It has been an honor and a pleasure to know him, and I will try to keep his spirit alive in the city he loved and shaped.
# Mike Ananis 2020-11-02 19:39
Condolences to Rich's family and loved ones. Rich and I spent many childhood days hanging out at Marie Street playground, Cambridge Common playing baseball, and football before high school. Always smart, talented, and fun...a great guy and a great competitor.
# Mary & Patty Walker 2020-11-03 00:05
Richie,
I always looked forward to our lunches together. Your friendship and kindness will be greatly missed.
Mary Walker and Patty Conover
# richard vendetti 2020-11-04 22:41
Rich was one of East Cambridge’s best friends, those who knew him will never forget him and the ways he had help us through all the development and his generosity for all our children and elderly. For this nobody will forget or match his giving. Rest In Peace my friend

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