Brett McKinstry, 58, of Orlando, FL, formerly of Ft Myers, FL, Fairfax, VA and Middlesex, NJ passed away in the early morning hours on Sunday, February 4, 2018, after a four-year battle with neuroendocrine cancer. He was surrounded by his wife of 34 years, and children.
Brett leaves behind his loving wife Tevis McKinstry and two children: son Reid McKinstry and his wife Kimberly and daughter Brynn McKinstry; along with grandson James Perrotta III, and many nieces, nephews, family and dear friends. He was the youngest of his family and was preceded in death by his parents John and Emma McKinstry along with his sister Alexandra “Sandy” Bonaduce.
Born August 19, 1959, in Middlesex, NJ, Brett was the first generation of Irish descent to be born in the United States, following his parent’s immigration from Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1950. Brett graduated from Middlesex High School in 1977, where he excelled in academics and multiple sports. Following graduation, he then went on to earn his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). There he met his college sweetheart, Tevis Seitzer. He graduated from college in 1982 and married the love of his life two years later, on June 30, 1984.
After graduation, Brett started his engineering career in North Carolina and in 1984, Brett and Tevis then decided to move to Northern Virginia to be closer to family and friends. There he worked for GHT Limited in Arlington, VA for 10 years. In that time the McKinstry family grew with the addition of his son Reid and daughter Brynn. The McKinstry’s opted for a better quality of life and decided to pursue a new opportunity for their family and moved to Ft. Myers, FL. Brett began working at TLC Engineering for Architecture, on February 7th, 1995. He would spend the next 24 years at TLC, starting as the Division Director in Fort Myers and eventually earning the position of President and Chief Operating Officer in the Orlando Headquarters.
Throughout his life, Brett was an amazing husband, father, friend, coach, mentor and best remembered for his love of entertaining and hosting memorable parties. His door was always open to everyone and his circle of friends and colleagues quickly became family. That family along with his own were always his greatest passion along with fishing, the outdoors, and Virginia Tech football!
Brett’s life was filled with hard work, integrity, and joy. He served as an outstanding role model for his family and every person that he touched. His most famous saying was “What do the last three letters of your name spell? … T-R-Y.”
A Celebration of Life service to honor Brett will be held on Saturday, February 24th at The Sanibel Harbor Marriot’s Caloosa Room from 2-4pm. Followed by an Irish Wake Style Reception in the Everglades Room from 4-6pm with hors d’oeuvres and lots of beer, wine, whiskey and laughs, just the way Brett would have done it!
One of Brett’s final wishes was that in lieu of flowers anyone interested make a donation and become a member of Captains for Clean Water, to help support the conservation efforts to save the waters and fishery that he loved so much.
A Special Thanks to the Following for their Donations in Memory of Brett:
(Please note, the list is not automatically updated after a donation. We will add people and companies that chose
to be listed at the time of their donation. Updates will occur weekly.)
Alan and Joanne Tessmer
B & I Contractors
Bennett Legal Group, P.A.
Bob & Nancy Brooks
Brendan and Traci Vaughan
Carmine Rende, Jr.
Conni & Bryon Smith
Cory & Kayla McGuire
Daniel & Allie Andrews
Ed and Gloria Lobnitz
Evelyn & Pete Sechler
Florida Insulation Experts, Inc.
Gus and Deb Russell
J. Thomas Chandler
Jason & Michaelann Heffelmire
John Are Lindstad
Judy & Brian Kilbane
Lucky Tackle Box LLC
Lynne and Jim Valentic
O. Mustad & Son Americas Inc.
Tampa Bay Trane