Bernard MacKinnon

Obituary of Bernard MacKinnon

We are saddened to announce the passing of Bernard Michael MacKinnon, of Bedford, Nova Scotia. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan (nee MacKinnon), and children, Shauna Marie of Fort McMurray and Michael Bernard of Halifax along with three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, sister-in-law Valerie of Moncton, and numerous nieces and nephews. Dad was predeceased by parents Frank and Margaret (nee MacLean) and brothers Martin (Betty), Tony (Mary), and Ray, and sisters Dorothy (Steve), Sister Florence, C.N.D., and Ethel (Hector). Born in Sydney, Dad grew up across from the Forum and during winter was a Rink Rat although summer would find him on the ball field. He was a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and Nova Scotia Technical College (now Sexton Campus of Dalhousie University). He began his career as an electrical engineer with Sydney Steel where he learned the importance of mentoring under the guidance of an exceptional first boss, mentor, advisor and friend Joe McInnis, Chief Engineer. Dad carried on the role as a mentor with the caveat to pass it on and give other young engineers a leg up. After retiring, Dad volunteered as a math and physics tutor for high school and university students for 20 years, some of whom are still sending notes and cards detailing their successes. Dad's career path had the family criss crossing the country several times, living in several provinces as well as overseas to South Korea, Nigeria, and Indonesia for more adventures. Everything was an adventure to Dad, from different moves to a walk on the beach. He fostered a sense of wonder at the natural world and Mom had to deal with all the creepy crawlies we kids took home in our pockets. The adventures continued in walks with us to explore the world, from ant hills to gopher holes, to bees and spiders. As well, before each relocation, he would spread out information and maps (this was before the internet) about the next city the family was moving to and would announce a new adventure. As a young student of piano and classical music, when I began piano lessons, he decided to return to them himself and continued to play until his recent illness. Thirty years ago, Dad took up skating again and could be found at the senior skates in various rinks in the HRM three or four times a week along with walks in between until the recent pandemic. Dad maintained those friendships cultivated at skating outside the rink. While he enjoyed several hobbies over the years, from playing classical piano to listening to old time country music to making wine and watching movies with me while we each provided editorial comment. Dad was a big proponent of higher education and a lifelong learner himself, taking courses during his career and into retirement. Dad's love for his family knew no bounds. We will miss his dry sense of humor and antics. His words live on in his letters to me while at university, shared with classmates and friends and in later years when I would call him on air for comments. He always had something funny to amuse my audience. This last journey/adventure was his, and our, most difficult and challenging, but not without laughter. It was our privileged to have these last months with him at home. Arrangements have been entrusted to T. J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, 71 McQuade Lake Crescent, Halifax. To leave words of comfort and condolence for the family please visit We would like to thank the many family and friends who assisted, fed, and prayed for us as we cared for Dad. A special thank you as well to the nursing staff, especially Sofia, Palliative Care, V.O.N., and Closing the Gap for their compassion and care. Thanks to the doctors, nurses, and support staff of Neurosurgery and Oncology at NS Health. We are grateful for his care. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Donations in Dad's memory may be made to MS Society of Canada or charity of one's choice.