Dorothy M. McKenna, 86: Longtime school worker served Bath in many roles

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BATH — Dorothy M. McKenna, 86, died of a long illness on Dec. 11, at her home in Bath.

She was born Dec. 22, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Charles and Lillian (Smith) Johansen.

She graduated from Morse High School in Bath in 1944, after excelling academically and “skipping” a grade in her education. She then went to work for the superintendent’s office of the Bath public school system, where she served for 22 years.

In 1966, soon after The Hyde School was founded in Bath, McKenna became one of its first employees, working primarily in the school’s business department. She retired after 23 years.

She enjoyed both segments of her career, and especially embraced her work at Hyde, with its focus on character development and academic excellence. She said the experience changed her life, and she was grateful for the opportunity to play a role in the lives of many faculty and students. Up until her death, she regularly received notes and calls from members of the Hyde family.

McKenna also was active in civic life and public service. She participated in the Morse High Alumni Association, helped out her local ward during elections, and was a member of the Bath Garden Club. In addition, she held board seats with several organizations, serving as treasurer for The Children’s School House and for Main Street Bath. Main Street eventually created its annual Dorothy McKenna Award to honor other distinguished volunteers.

However, McKenna’s primary focus for almost 60 years was Grace Episcopal Church. She served the church in many capacities, including as its longtime treasurer.

She was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Joseph McKenna, in 2004.

She is survived by son Shawn and his wife, Debra, and son Shane and his wife, Kari. She has five grandchildren, Ryan, Erin, Riley, Wes and Patrick, with a great-grandchild due in the near term. She is also survived by her brother, Robert Johansen, and her sisters, Lillian Jewell and Isabel Morong.

A funeral was held Dec. 20 at Grace Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the church, at 1100 Washington St., Bath, ME 04530.

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