A Tribute to Martin Smith McKinnon 14 March 1932 – 18 December 2017


There were six siblings in the McKinnon family, two girls Mary then Margaret and four McKinnon boys, Alex, followed by Martin, Andrew and me (Matthew). Andrew and my sister Margaret passed away in 2011, and last year Alex and Martin died. We were / are all committed followers of Jesus Christ.

Martin was six years older than me, and was married to Moira for more than 60 years. It was a loving and a happy marriage that produced four children, ten grand-children and five great grand-children. Muriel (my wife) and I have shared so much of life’s experiences together with them.

To those who only came to know Martin in recent years he was just a nice old man with ‘Parkinsons’. To me however, Martin was not only a ‘big brother’ but my best and lifelong friend, mentor, encourager, prayer partner and fellow worker for the cause of Christ and his Kingdom.

As a child Martin taught me to ride a bicycle, later, to drive a car, and he gave advice on everything from buying our first house and car, to home DIY. He had a hugely generous nature and in our younger days would freely lend you, with a smile, anything you had need of, from his bicycle to his car, and from his camera to his extending ladder! In later years he and Moira cared for our family, our finances, and our house as we travelled and worked abroad. He was great company, a good conversationalist, an ‘unconscious comedian’ and always a joy to be with. We went on caravan holidays together, swam together, hill walked together, doing the Aonach Eagach Ridge in Glen Coe and bagging not a few ‘Munroes’ in the process. He was a lover of the great outdoors. After retirement he and Moira travelled to Argentine, the USA, Norway and Russia, Spain and Portugal, sometimes visiting friends and sometimes with family and friends.

Martin left school at 14 years of age to become a message boy in a fruit shop, he then did his two years National Service in the Royal Army Ordinance Corp in Germany and finished his working life as Systems Analyst Manager in Rolls Royce.

As a Christian Martin lived a life of service to others. Too many stories to tell, but he served as a Sunday School teacher and Children’s superintendent, a driver of the church’s coach, and with Moira cared and helped all who were ill or in trouble. He and I served as elders together for many years during which time, (and after I had left) he was secretary, treasurer, missionary correspondent etc.etc…

Martin to me, was a truly loving brother. I can never remember ever having an angry word with him. He was the man with whom I confided in times of trouble, his advice was always sound and balanced, he not only prayed with you, but you knew he would stand alongside and support you in every way possible.

It’s taken me a few weeks, but now feel able to write this. I know we will all meet again one day around the throne of Christ our Lord. I woke the other morning singing a song Martin and I were taught as children!

“A robe of white, a crown of gold
A harp, a home, a mansion fair
A victor’s palm a joy untold
Are mine when I get there

For Jesus is my Saviour
He washed my sin away
He paid my debt on Calvary’s mountain
 I’m happy in his dying love, I’m singing all the way
I’m living, yes I’m living at the fountain”


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I'm am a married man, a father, grandfather and great grandfather who has been married to Muriel for 62 years. I have worked as an Engineer in the Sugar Business, and as a Manager in the Relief and Development sector. Firstly however, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and this fact has shaped my life and work.

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