Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services – Portland

999 Forest Avenue, Suite 1, Portland, ME


John Bruce Mckinley

March 4, 1933September 8, 2020

Bruce, as he was commonly known, passed from this earth on September 8, 2020. He was born on March 4, 1933 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania to Rachel (Steele) and William James McKinley. He was raised and educated in Queens, New York City. During the Korean war he joined the Army and served as a Vertical Control Officer in an artillery battalion with the Third Infantry Division, stationed in central Korea at what is now the D.M.Z. After leaving Korea, he was assigned to the First Cavalry Division in Japan. When returning home, he continued his education. In 1963 he married Helen McKechnie in Garden City New York. Bruce worked as a computer operator and programmer/analyst in N.Y.C. for Western Electric Company and then Franklin National Bank. They resided in Seaford, Long Island until 1970 when they relocated to Maine. Bruce joined Central Power Company as a Senior Systems Analyst and helped develop computer systems for C.M.P. and Maine Yankee. In the 1980’s he obtained a master’s degree in individual counseling from the University of Southern Maine and in 1987 was promoted to the position of Director of Employee Assistance for both C.M.P. and Maine Yankee. He was a member of the Park Avenue Methodist Church in Auburn, the Sons of the American Revolution, a Mason, and a life member of Mensa. He is survived by his wife Helen of 57 years; three daughters, Elizabeth Lizotte and husband Bill of Massachusetts, Christine Smith and husband Shaun of Buffalo, New York and Alison Sampson and husband Todd of Auburn, Maine. He is also survived by ten grandchildren; Mallory Smith and husband Tobey Tozier, Eric Lizotte and wife Talia, Connor Smith, Kevin Lizotte, Jared Lizotte, Cayley Smith, Mack Sampson, Will Sampson, Macey Smith, and Hannah Sampson. Survivors include his sister Sallie Nelson, husband Jim and their children Lisa and Bruce “Ward” Nelson, all of Virginia. He was a great man that will be missed by all, yes indeed. A private gathering for immediate family will be held and a Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers please do a kind deed for someone.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Bruce Mckinley

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Rebecca Miller

September 18, 2020

Bruce has a heartful soul and will be dearly missed. He always had a smile with unconditional love for his girls, son-in-laws, his grandchildren, and most of his beautiful wife, Helen. We have been so blessed to be part of the family. We became family August 5th 2000 when my little brother Todd married Alison. He was the "Rock" with a smile. May you rest in peace Bruce and God Bless you!
Condolences to The entire Mckinley family love you xoxo Becky & Ron

Marc Ayotte

September 17, 2020

Dear Helen and family,
I am very sad to learn that Bruce has passed. You folks were great neighbors and Bruce was always ready with good advice and a helping hand when one was needed. I will be forever grateful for the way Bruce talked with Sam years ago. You are in my prayers.
Marc Ayotte

Sherri Goss Castonguay

September 16, 2020

My heart felt condolences to Mrs. McKinley and family. I grew up and was good friends with Elizabeth when living on Boulder Dr. I remember Mr. McKinley as a kind man who always made me feel welcome when I came to their home. I thought highly of both Mr. and Mrs. McKinley. My thoughts and prayers of healing and comfort are with the family, Mrs. McKinley, Elizabeth, Christine and Allison.

CarolAnn Lynch

September 16, 2020

My fondest memories of Uncle Bruce are his captivating stories, witty jokes, amazing creativity and welcoming, pleasant demeanor.

He assembled a fun, personalized photo album of his beloved family for Rebecca, Mary & Elizabeth, so they would get to know their great aunt, great uncle & cousins in Maine & Massachusetts. Uncle Bruce even showed Flat Stanley a great time in Maine, when he visited with him & Aunt Helen for Mary’s school project. Flat Stanley “ate” lobster and toured the iconic L.L. Bean.

Thanks for the wonderful memories and for enriching our lives, Uncle Bruce.

Dear Aunt Helen and Family,

We extend our deepest condolences to all of you. May cherished memories bring you
peace and comfort.

Ronald, Carol Ann & girls

william Hathorne

September 16, 2020

I am Bill Hathorne emailing from Kansas City where I have lived for the past 30 years. You certainly know my mother, Jean Hathorne, through the Auburn Methodist Church.

Mr. McKinley was not only my 5th grade Sunday School teacher, but he was one of the advisors to our 1972 confirmation class. He was smart and a gentleman, and he added a lighthearted touch that we adolescents certainly appreciated.

Patty McLaughlin

September 15, 2020

Helen, please accept condolences to you and your family on Bruce’s passing. He taught Sunday School when I was in junior high, and I have such positive memories of him. He allowed us to think and question and we so enjoyed his class.

Kathleen Gillman

September 14, 2020

When we were kids my favorite memories was going to Maine to Aunt Helen and Uncle Bruce’s on winter break and Uncle Bruce would take us for hours on the snow mobile with a toboggan being pulled with all of us on it. Great memories with Uncle Bruce every February. Rest In Peace Uncle Bruce and thanks for the great memories. Love you ❤️


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