July 9, 2019


Mr. John L. McKillip, 84, of Key West, died on July 5, 2019, after a short battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert, mother, Juliette, and his wife of 58 years, Myrna. He is survived by his son, Alan G. McKillip (Lea), daughter, Julie M. Kennedy (John), grandchildren Shannon and Brian McKillip, and nieces Peggy Trout (Bill) and Christine Maribona (Michael). He had many long-time friends, Robert and Norma Sawyer, Judge and Mrs. Richard Payne, Cliff Sawyer, Dr. Denny and Beverly Howley, Kim, Kara, Conary, Alaina McGee and many others.

After graduation from Key West High School in 1953, John began his long career as a carpenter with various construction companies. He began employment in the early 1960s with Charlie Toppino and Sons and remained there until his retirement in 1997.

As a Scotch Drum player for Key West High School Band, John amazed all with his mallet twirling skill. He was able to share his playing with band trips to Havana, the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa and parades. An avid boat racer since his mid-teens, one of John’s greatest achievements was in 1963, as a member of the Key West Outboard Club, he established himself as “World’s International Champion ‘E’ Pleasure Craft.”

John and Myrna were loved by their neighbors who came and went during their 57 years as Midtown residents.

His last great act was the long fight to preserve the view and access to the neighborhood salt pond for future generations to enjoy. He was especially surprised and proud when the Key West City Commission officially named the salt pond “Lake McKillip.”

John loved life, his work, good food, friends, laughter and most of all his wife, children, grandchildren and Key West.

A funeral will be held at Dean-Lopez Funeral Home, 418 Simonton St., on Wednesday, July 10. Viewing will be from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by service and interment next to his wife in the Key West City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to your favorite charity.