John Reaney McKinley Jr.

John Reaney McKinley Jr.

John Reaney McKinley Jr. (1934 – 2021)

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

John was born in NYC on September 19th, 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).  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 9 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, maple sugaring, and was an avid Boston Red Sox Fan.  He was in his glory cheering on his grandchildren in sports, he an incredible role model and will be missed by many.  There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, June 26, 2021 from 2-5pm 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

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anne Myrick
2 years ago

Our condolences to the entire McKinley family. Peter and I are so sorry to hear about John. He was an spectacular man and will missed by everyone who knew him. Hugs and prayers to all of you.

Sarah Witherell Hildebrand
2 years ago

My heartfelt condolences to Myrdith and family . John always had a story or joke to share when I would visit them with my oldest sister Nancy who was a long time friend of theirs. Many thoughts and memories of comfort to you all.

Linda and Eugene Cousino
2 years ago

Our condolences to your family. I did not know John long but loved working with both John and Myrdith in my years as lister for the town of New Haven. Such dear sweet people. You will be missed John.

Sandra Trombley
2 years ago

Our condolences to the entire McKinley family for your loss. Although we did not know him personally, he sounds like an amazing man. I am a friend of Wendy’s.

Brenda Charron
2 years ago

Lee and I are so sorry for your loss.John was a wonderful man and will be missed by many.

Beth Ekroos
2 years ago

Myrdith and family.
If my mother, Shirley Murray Dwyer were here she would be by your side. She so thought the world of both of you. I am sorry for your loss.
Beth Dwyer Ekroos

The Hendy family
2 years ago

our heartfelt sympathies to the Mckinley family. He will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Barb Knapp
2 years ago

Condolences to the family. I remember going to the farm as a child and Mr. McKinley was always smiling. He also made darn good maple syrup!

Brown Mcclay Funeral Homes