OBITUARY

Brett McKinstry

August 19, 1959February 4, 2018
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Brett McKinstry, 58, of Orlando, FL, formerly of Ft Myers, FL, Fairfax, VA and Middlesex, NJ passed away in the early morning hours on Sunday, February 4, 2018, after a four-year battle with neuroendocrine cancer. He was surrounded by his wife of 34 years, and children.

Brett leaves behind his loving wife Tevis McKinstry and two children: son Reid McKinstry and his wife Kimberly and daughter Brynn McKinstry; along with grandson James Perrotta II, and many nieces, nephews, family and dear friends. He was the youngest of his family and was preceded in death by his parents John and Emma McKinstry along with his sister Alexandra “Sandy” Bonaduce. Born August 19, 1959, in Middlesex, NJ, Brett was the first generation of Irish descent to be born in the United States, following his parent’s immigration from Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1950. Brett graduated from Middlesex High School in 1977, where he excelled in academics and multiple sports. Following graduation, he then went on to earn his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). There he met his college sweetheart, Tevis Seitzer. He graduated from college in 1982 and married the love of his life two years later, on June 30, 1984.

After graduation, Brett started his engineering career in North Carolina and in 1984, Brett and Tevis then decided to move to Northern Virginia to be closer to family and friends. There he worked for GHT Limited in Arlington, VA for 10 years. In that time the McKinstry family grew with the addition of his son Reid and daughter Brynn. The McKinstry’s opted for a better quality of life and decided to pursue a new opportunity for their family and moved to Ft. Myers, FL. Brett began working at TLC Engineering for Architecture, on February 7th, 1994. He would spend the next 24 years at TLC, starting as the Division Director in Fort Myers and eventually earning the position of President and Chief Operating Officer in the Orlando Headquarters.

Throughout his life, Brett was an amazing husband, father, friend, coach, mentor and best remembered for his love of entertaining and hosting memorable parties. His door was always open to everyone and his circle of friends and colleagues quickly became family. That family along with his own were always his greatest passion along with fishing, the outdoors, and Virginia Tech football! Brett’s life was filled with hard work, integrity, and joy. He served as an outstanding role model for his family and every person that he touched. His most famous saying was “What do the last three letters of your name spell? … T-R-Y.”

A Celebration of Life service to honor Brett will be held on Saturday, February 24th at The Sanibel Harbour Marriott’s Caloosa Room from 2-4pm. Followed by an Irish Wake Style Reception in the Islands Room from 4-6pm with hors d’oeuvres and lots of beer, wine, whiskey and laughs, just the way Brett would have done it!

One of Brett’s final wishes was that in lieu of flowers anyone interested make a donation and become a member of Captains for Clean Water, to help support the conservation efforts to save the waters and fishery that he loved so much. To do so please visit CaptainsForCleanWater.org/McKinstry.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 24, 2018
  • Reception Saturday, February 24, 2018
REMEMBERING

Brett McKinstry

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Dillon Bush

February 26, 2018

Moving around all the time, one of the few constants in our lives was trips back to Florida to see the family. Whether it was summer break, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, it always included a big family dinner with the McKinstry's. These were an anchor in my childhood and at center of all of them was Uncle Brett, arms wide, voice booming, always welcoming and laughing. But despite all these memories, the image of Brett that will always stand out in my mind is from back when my grandma, Sandy (Brett's sister) passed away two years ago. We had a memorial service followed by an Irish wake for her and everyone was just so torn up about it; I was even blubbering too much to get up and say anything. I'll never forget Uncle Brett, once again at the center of everything, giving his amazing eulogy, talking and keeping everyone upbeat all day, looking so strong and steadfast in spite of everything. And that's without even thinking about all the struggles he was dealing with his cancer battle. He never once let it show, never once complained about it. That's just who he was and how I'll always remember him: the great, positive, pillar of strength in our family.

Cassidy Bush

February 25, 2018

All of my favorite memories growing up involve spending time with family during the Holidays. I will always remember our big family gatherings with the Bonaduces and McKinstrys and how much fun they were. The McKinstry's house was always the party spot and Brett was THE best host. He will forever be known as Great Uncle Brett to me, and he was truly the greatest uncle a girl could ask for!!

Cathy Bush

February 25, 2018

He was my mother's little brother, but much more like my brother. A great Uncle, generous to all, grill master and great entertainer, full of life until the very end! He was a role model for having it all...very successful career and fully engaged family man. We feel cheated at his passing at such a young age and his death leaves a huge whole in the lives of his friends and family. I am heartbroken for Tevis and Reid and Brynn. Love you guys!

Cathy Bush

February 25, 2018

He was my mother's little brother, but much more like my brother. A great Uncle, generous to all, grill master and great entertainer, full of life until the very end! He was a role model for having it all...very successful career and fully engaged family man. We feel cheated at his passing at such a young age and his death leaves a huge whole in the lives of his friends and family. I am heartbroken for Tevis and Reid and Brynn. Love you guys!

Conni Smith

February 23, 2018

I consider Brett to be one of the greatest men I ever met. I had the opportunity to work with Brett for many years in Ft. Myers. He was the boss, but his door was always open. He was a person that made you feel comfortable, even though he had the 'bosses bark' when needed. I will think of him often wishing I had talked to him more and with memories. R.I.P.

Travis Loeffler

February 22, 2018

What sticks out in my mind is one trip out we went to get bait under a bridge and he had me pull up to one of the pilons he throws the net and tells me to throw it in reverse I try but the boat doesn't do that instead it keeps going forward Brett says it again i hit the stick hard and we're good hahaha i almost hit that thing!! Another time were we caught some blow fish of the side of a road i believe near Sanabel isle.and he told us to smack em on the ground to deflate them my brother and i are like really he says ya so we do and toss em back .All in all great guy father uncle friend all of the above!!!! Love you uncle you will be missed!!!! Love Trav❤❤

Darrell Loeffler

February 21, 2018

A great man and a builder of not only buildings, but friendships and love.

Tammy Brooks

February 21, 2018

Tevis, I only met Brett a couple of times, but from everything I've heard about him, he was the best of the best. My condolences to you and your family. Hold your memories close as they will get you through the sad days. And I know Brett is watching over you and helping you through the roughest times. Take care.

Lawrin Ellis

February 19, 2018

Lawrin Ellis

February 19, 2018