Obituary of Brian Keith McKinnon
Brian celebrated his first and only birthday party at the age of 60 on December 17th, 2023 with his very good friends just 4 days before his sudden passing on December 21st. He was on cloud-9 with excitement and gratitude at this surprise party and the outpouring of love he received. He always said that when it was his time he wanted to go out on a high and that is exactly what happened.
Born in Grand Junction on December 17, 1963, he and his mother moved to Loveland when he was 13 where he attended Bill Reed Junior High, Walt Clark Junior High Thompson Valley High and Washington Alternative High. He began making lifelong friends that grew into strong relationships all of his life.
After high school, he joined the US Marine Corp in 1982 where he advanced rapidly in rank becoming a proud Lance Corporal as a heavy equipment operator and recruiter before his discharge in 1985. Once a Marine always a Marine was a slogan he believed in completely. Just before he joined, he managed to break his wrist playing on a three wheeler and had a cast on it until he cut it off early just before being inducted. It’s tough enough to go through Marine boot camp but to do it with an almost healed wrist means you have to be tough and he was. Upon his discharge, he worked hard and played hard. He managed to get his foot nailed to the floor on one job as well as a shoulder dislocated. (Several more of those were to come later. After all, he did play hard!) He then changed course to receive an Associate’s Degree in drafting from Front Range Community College.
His first real job was in the kitchen at the Riverhouse Restaurant which set the stage for his later life when he had a slight disagreement with the authorities, again starting in the kitchen he became an assistant manager at Bennigan’s and later the Summit Restaurant in Loveland and Texas Roadhouse. Bennigan’s recognized his managerial talents and sent him to Kansas City, Topeka and San Antonio. Likewise, the Roadhouse sent him to Grand Junction, Pueblo and Greeley to either correct ailing stores or help start up a new one. He was a great manager and his people liked him. He understood the business and made profits wherever he went. (This also made him a great cook!)
Restaurant managing can take its toll on a person with the long hours and employee issues so he finally left that type of business to work at various other jobs from construction to auto detailing to managing a crew at an injection molding company. In 1986, he built a pole barn on his parents property which in 2012 he then turned into a batcher pad with the idea of helping his parents, Ron and Maggi Mock as they grew older and he was a great help to them.
He absolutely loved the Pittsburg Steelers, the Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Eagles hockey teams. He had a real passion for living an active life with his friends. He loved fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, mountain bike riding and golfing. He always felt that the next adventure was around the corner and jumped at it when it came along. Every year for the last 5 years he volunteered at the new TCP golf course during a yearly tournament. He could strike up a conversation with anybody about anything and loved people. His closest buddy (Nate) from his youth played drums in a band called AC/DC Colorado and even though he wasn't a musician and couldn't carry a tune, he did help carry the drums and helped the band to get set up for gigs. He bonded with the band members and they all were true friends and help to make the suprise birthday party a great success.
He loved his dogs over the years. They were HD (forHarley Davidson) a border collie mix, Bonnie, a chow mix, Clyde a weemaraner mix, Golda a golden retriever mix and Alice, his current rescue, a German shephard.
While working at the molding company, he was rear ended by a teenager and suffered permanent neck damage resulting in a four vertebra neck fusion. He loved his classic 1985 Harley Sportster and had taken it to Sturgis. He also managed to dump it over one time and ended up having four shoulder surgeries over the coming years. He had to give up riding it after the neck surgeries, so he gave it to his dad to ride who also managed to dump it. Just to make matters worse, in 2022 he was diagnosed with a rare male breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy. All of this caused him alot of pain all the time but thanks to his tough Marine attitude, bore through it like a champ but it also made him disabled from full time work. Just to make sure that things stayed exciting, he began having seizures that made him stop driving. His life was not easy and luck never seemed to be on his side but he never gave up.
Since he couldn't drive, neighbors and friends would take him to lunch or fishing or golfing or anywhere else he needed to go. He really appreciated the kindness and loved getting out with them.
His life will continue to be celebrated by his friends and family forever.
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