This week we mourn the loss of Dot McKenna, one of the original members of the Hyde School family, and whose loyalty and character over the years has made her and her family a part of our family as well.
Our family came to Bath as newcomers 50 years ago, although my great grandfather Abel Pottle was a minister here in the 1880s. Bath’s proud tradition of shipbuilding has produced many fine individuals as well as fine ships. So it seemed natural to build Hyde on that tradition with the help of some of those fine individuals. Looking back, to me, none were finer than Dot McKenna.
Once some local individuals helped me secure the Hyde Estate, Francis Murray took over as my personal secretary and Dot took over as business manager. Dot set a tradition of integrity in the school’s finances that has reflected the school’s motto ever since. I will never forget a Saturday morning in my living room when Cindy Morgan and Marge Stilphen, who had been hired and trained by Dot, carefully outlined to me procedures by their then superior officer that were simply unacceptable. Their courage helped maintain Hyde’s standards of integrity.
Dot ultimately served on the Board of Trustees during Hyde School’s most difficult years, during which she helped me return to lead Hyde.
Even in retirement, Dot regularly attended important events at Hyde, and kept a critical eye on the progress of the school. She had truly become a part of Hyde and in her own way, continued to contribute to helping the school live up to its promise.
Above all, Dot was a wonderful human being with a deep concern for others. We love you Dot, and your family, our family, your Hyde family and Bath are all going to miss you.
A service in her honor will be Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. Grace Episcopal Church, 1100 Washington Street, Bath, ME 04530. Letters of condolences can be sent to Shane McKenna, 361 High Street Bath, ME 04530.