Holland mourns doctor

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Holland community is mourning the loss of its only physician after Dr. Julian McKenney’s death on Wednesday.



Even during his illness with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, McKenney continued to see patients from his office on South Quay Road when he was able to do so.

“I don’t think my father ever did anything with any thought of anything for himself,” said his daughter, Marissa Aguire. “He was really selfless.”

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His other daughter, Julia McKenney, worked with her father at his practice for several years. She said her father loved cars and always wanted to be an auto mechanic, but that changed when he was 19 years old.

“His father died of a heart attack suddenly, very young, and that made him completely change what he wanted to do,” Julia McKenney said, “so others didn’t have to go through what he went through with his dad — losing him so young.”

McKenney said her father believed in making medical care accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, and he put his belief into action.

“If they told him or if he just knew they weren’t able to pay, he’d still give any services they needed,” she said. “He believed that money shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to medical care. Several times, I caught him giving money to some of his patients, however much cash he had left in his wallet.”

Aguire said her father’s generosity and kindness did not stop at his medical practice.

“If he saw you on the side of the street and you had a flat tire, he would help you,” she said. He started cutting the grass for a neighbor after her husband died and continued until his own illness landed him in the hospital.

“He just lived his life being kind,” she said. “He always told me he believed that good things happen to good people, but I don’t think he ever did anything with any thought that he would get anything in return. He was just kind.”

Jason Fanny, who organized a fundraiser in October for Dr. McKenney, said he was devastated by the loss.

“It’s going to be very hard on the community,” he said. “It’s going to hurt a lot of people.”

A Friday evening visitation and Saturday afternoon funeral service are planned at R.W. Baker and Co. Funeral Home and Crematory. McKenney is survived by his mother, Latrelle Dixon, his wife, Marie McKenney, a brother and a sister in addition to his two daughters.