John Gordon Mackinney

MackinneyJohn Gordon Mackinney, 86, on September 3, 2018, peacefully in his sleep at Timber Ridge senior living facility in McKinleyville, Calif. John was born on October 28, 1931, in San Francisco, Calif., to Marian Esdale and Gordon Mackinney.

John met his first wife, Anne Forinash (later Anne Friend), while studying at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1953, following graduation with a bachelor’s in physics, he was employed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. John and Anne married in 1954, then moved to Washington, D.C., where John worked as a programmer and systems analyst for a defense contractor. While in Washington, John and Anne had three children, Christopher, Paul, and Ross. John and Anne embraced pacifism, attending Langley Hill Preparatory Meeting in McLean, Va.

In 1964, the family moved to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, Calif., to be near Anne’s parents, Richard and Ruth Forinash. John took a position at Radio Corporation of America (RCA), and Anne completed her undergraduate studies at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge). John and Anne separated and divorced in 1971. The next year John’s father passed away. In 1976, John moved to Berkeley, Calif., to be closer to his mother. He was employed as a computer programmer by Bank of America, then by the State Compensation Insurance Fund, where he worked until his retirement.

John met his second wife, Vanita Blum Meyer, while attending Berkeley (Calif.) Meeting. Vanita, also divorced, had four grown children, Enid, Dana, Sibyl, and Evan. John was a member of the Finance Committee and Ministry and Oversight Committee. He and Vanita were active in College Park Quarterly Meeting and Pacific Yearly Meeting. John and Vanita married in 1981 under the care of Berkeley Meeting. They bought a house in Albany, Calif. Following Vanita’s death in 2006, John continued to live in the family home. He was joined by his son Paul; his grandchild Thistle West; and Paul’s future wife, Tatyana Ryevzina.

In 2012, John was diagnosed with Sézary syndrome, a slowly progressing type of blood cancer. In 2016, he moved to Timber Ridge in McKinleyville, Calif., near to his sons Christopher and Ross. Even in decline, John’s blue eyes twinkled; he was unfailingly polite; his sense of humor remained intact; and he continued to be inquisitive about scientific, spiritual, and social matters.

John is survived by three children, Christopher Mackinney, Paul Mackinney (Tatyana Ryevzina), and Ross Mackinney; and three grandchildren.

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