Brett McKinstry
Brett McKinstry

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.)

ACAI Associates

Adam Stavich

Alan and Joanne Tessmer

Alan Jensen

Alex Cumbee

Andrew Seitzer

B & I Contractors

Bennett Legal Group, P.A.

Bob & Nancy Brooks

Bob Danner

Brendan and Traci Vaughan

Carlos Chiu

Carmine Rende, Jr.

Chauncey Goss

Cheryl Maze

Chris Bailey

Conni & Bryon Smith

Cory & Kayla McGuire

Cory Duggin

Cynthia Cardoso

Daniel & Allie Andrews

Daniel Nussbaum

David Fusco

David Southwick

Dawn Shirreffs

Don Pine

Ed and Gloria Lobnitz

Edward Bennett


Evelyn & Pete Sechler

Florida Insulation Experts, Inc.

Freddy Johnsen

Fredy Sarria

Gary Griffin

GHT Limited

Gus and Deb Russell

J. Thomas Chandler

Jacob Swihura

James Mitchell

Janis Fudge

Jason & Michaelann Heffelmire

Jeff Durniak

Jeff Lindquist

Jeffrey Stash

John Are Lindstad

John Benz

Jonathan Brkich

Jonathan Zucker

Joseph Bonaduce

Joshua Christensen

Judy & Brian Kilbane

Katherine Roth

Katrona Walker

Kendall Hendrick

Kit Wray

Kristy Walson

Kyle Daivs

Lisa Latkowski

Lisa Stump

Lucky Tackle Box LLC

Lynne and Jim Valentic

Magnus Gunnarsson

Marilyn Ibos

Melvia McCann

Michael Gulla

Michael Karkis

Michael Sheerin

Michael Smith

Mike McClafferty

Milo Talokonnikoff

Nathan Nicholson

Noelle Ward

O. Mustad & Son Americas Inc.

Patricia Graef

Patrick Rickert

Pete Squibb

Robert Beville

Rosalind Winston

Sheryl Swartzle

Stephe Harper

Steve Mobley

Steve Shelt

Suzanne Brouillette

Tampa Bay Trane

Tara Bleakley

Taryn LaFrance

Taw North

Thomas Chandler

Timothy Bush

United Mechanical

Wendi Sanders