His family is devastated to announce that Richard Wayne MacKinnon, known to his friends as Wayne - and to his grandchildren as "Yeye," the Chinese word for grandfather - passed away on April 2.
Wayne, who was passionate, inexhaustible, and full of ideas until the very end, packed more into his almost 75 years than is possible to encapsulate here. Of all the roles he played, he would want it mentioned first that he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle.
Wayne was also a larger-than-life figure in the local community, both as a successful businessman and as a generous philanthropist who was guided by his deeply held Catholic faith.
Born in Ottawa in 1948 to Bernice (née Préfontaine) and Gerard, Wayne attended University of Ottawa High School before graduating from the University of Toronto law school in 1973.
One year later, he co-founded MacKinnon & Phillips, helping to launch what remains a thriving boutique family law firm. But law was never his passion.
Wayne had an inventor's soul, and a restless energy that drove him to continuously search for the next big thing. Soon Wayne the lawyer took a back seat to Wayne the entrepreneur.
His reinvention wasn't an immediate success. He invested in a boardgame that few people bought, as well as an airless bicycle tire that few people rode. His foray into sports management led to appearances on TSN, but the giant North Korean basketball player that Wayne helped bring to Canada in 1997 was blocked from achieving his dream of playing in the NBA.
Those early disappointments never dented Wayne's relentless optimism. In the mid-1990s, he became convinced of the merits of Omega-3 capsules, and founded a health products company that grew into the successful DPA Industries Inc. Though DPA did most of its business in China, Wayne always kept its headquarters in Kanata, believing that it was important that his company was based in Canada and employing Canadians.
Wayne was also a big supporter of local charities - serving two decades as chairman of the board of the St. Vincent de Paul Society - even before the success of DPA gave him the opportunity to expand his philanthropy. Guided by his mantra "the greater the gift, the greater the responsibility," he became a major, though anonymous, donor to the Ottawa Hospital. He also established a scholarship fund to help economically disadvantaged students in China, among many other such endeavours.
His family is deeply saddened by his sudden passing. Wayne is survived and mourned by Alannah (née Feeney), his wife of almost 50 years, as well as his children Mark (Carolynne Wheeler), Justin and Meghan (Andrew Arcello), and his beloved granddaughters Alexandra, Evelynne and Eleanor. He will also be badly missed by Angus, the latest in a line of devoted British bulldogs that were Wayne's near-constant companions in later years.
There's so much more to say about Richard Wayne MacKinnon, but that's for another place and time. One of the many gifts that he left his family and friends is endless supply of "only Wayne" stories, as well as cherished memories of shared laughter.
There will be a visitation from 2 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 14th at Tubman Funeral Homes Garden Chapel, 3440 Richmond Rd., Nepean (between Bayshore & Baseline Rd.) A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 15th at St. Patrick's Church in Fallowfield.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be made to the Ottawa Humane Society.