Alison C. McKenna

Alison C. McKenna passed away on November 17, 2019 at home with her daughter and son by her side.  Born in Wilmington, she was the only child of James Allison Collins and Helen Marguerite Witsil Collins.

Alison attended Richardson Park Elementary School and graduated in 1957 from Tower Hill School.  Upon graduation from Tower Hill School, she earned the girls athletic award and was offered several college scholarships.  She attended Hollins College (now University) in Roanoke Virginia. 

Alison worked for the duPont Company eight years during which time she married John J. McKenna and they had a son.  Alison was a stay-at-home mom for awhile and she and Jack had a second child, a daughter.

In January 1973, Alison returned to Tower Hill to work in the alumni/development office where she wrote hundreds of letters, organized numerous reunions and annual giving programs.  She was also involved with the fundraising for the Walter S. Carpenter II field house.  In the eighties Alison was promoted to director of development.  In that role she oversaw the building and fundraising for the Pierre S du Pont Performing Arts Center, the 75th anniversary celebration, and the all-school renovation. 

Alison retired from Tower Hill School in 2005.  In 2009 she was awarded the Founders’ Achievement Award for exemplary service to Tower Hill.  She continued with fundraising for a few non profits for a short time.  After that she donated her time to arts and crafts.  Alison’s most enjoyable role was supporting the headmaster with his many projects and plans throughout the years. She was always willing to take on new tasks, duties, and special events.

Alison was predeceased by her parents and, in 1991, her husband Jack.  She is survived by her son Sean Michael McKenna (Janie) of Mechanicsburg, PA; daughter Jennifer Lea McKenna of Wilmington, DE; and grandsons Patrick Thomas McKenna of Middletown, DE, and Colin Michael McKenna (Michelle) of Lemoyne, PA.

The family would like to thank the staff of Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, as well as therapists Caitlin and Kyle. Special thanks go to Anthony Mackiewicz and Claire Johnston for their help during this most difficult time.  Many others made the time easier with visits, notes, gifts, and calls.  We thank them all.

There will be a visitation for family and friends from 10 A.M. to 11 A.M. on Tuesday December 3rd, 2019,  followed by a short service at Mealey Funeral home, 2509 Limestone Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19808.  Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of Alison to Tower Hill School 2813 W. 17th Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19806.


Submitted by Lakisha Wynn on
Love you Jenn. I’m praying for you and your family. God bless. Love, Kisha Wynn

Submitted by Madalyn Schultz... on
My sincere condolences to the family of Alison. I met her in 1988 when I became Tower Hill’s School Nurse. Over the years I was there, my admiration and respect for her continually grew. I will remember her kindness to others, boundless energy, drive and devotion to all things THS.

Submitted by Jennifer Kirby on
Jen and Sean, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was a great lady. She and your Dad are catching up right now. Love you Jen. Be there in person soon.

Submitted by Ellis Wasson on
It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with Alison for 28 years. From my perspective her supreme achievement was the 75th anniversary history of Tower Hill. Her meticulous care made it a magnificent success in design, content, and as an anchor for the future of the school. We continued to work together right up to the composition of the Centennial book on the faculty over the past 100 years. Her career was a triumph, and her friendship deeply appreciated.

Submitted by Betsy Greenbank on
Alison was a wonderful employer and I admired her greatly and cherished her friendship after retirement. She always talked about her children and grandchildren with great pride. She was a dedicated employee at THS and always made sure that the school was presented in the best light possible. Her memory of alums and events was impressive and her attention to detail was impeccable. She will be missed by so many. Condolences to her family.

Submitted by Cathy Cessna on
Dear Sean and Jennifer, My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Alison was an exceptionally strong and talented lady. As the Asst. Director of Development, she became my mentor and friend. Her legacy, in addition to her cherished family is her dedication to THS

Submitted by John Bempoh on
Jenn I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences. I pray that God gives you the strength and comfort you in this difficult time. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

Submitted by Charley Shafor on
A powerful force, whose memory should never be forgotten. Her advice, many stories and friendship were a valuable part of my time at Tower Hill. A piece of my heart aches for her family and the entire Tower Hill Community. May she find peace.

Submitted by Terri Brooks on
To the McKenna family, my deepest sympathy and condolences go out to you. Jenn you did a great job caring for your mom and I admire you for all that you did to be a good and caring daughter in her time of illness. I pray she is resting in heaven with your dad. I wish peace and comfort to your family. God Bless.

Submitted by Reeve Draper on
Dear Jennifer & Sean, My sincerest condolences for your profound loss. I come from a long time THS family, and my own children attended from 1985 - 2002. It was during this period as an active THS parent that I came to know your mother. I always enjoyed seeing her at school and admired her reliable recognition of every student, alumnae, and their families. Tim nailed it when he hailed her transcendent institutional memory. That memory & her innate kindness allowed her to greet each person with warm, cheerful goodwill & a recognition that made each feel like a valued part of the THS community. I must also write on behalf of my deceased sister, Katharine (Puss) Schutt who admired & respected your mother tremendously. Puss was a very involved member of the THS board for many years and served as Pres for several terms. She worked very closely with Allison on many fundraising campaigns & projects at school. She always, always lauded Allison's extraordinary work ethic & broad knowledge of the school stating that she couldn’t have accomplished her goals without Alison’s help. Your Mother has left an amazing legacy, and you must be very proud. I mourn her passing with you. Sincerely, Reeve Draper

Submitted by Krista McCrea on
I’m so sorry for your loss

Submitted by Jennifer McKenna on
Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. Sean and I are very grateful for all that our mother impacted during her time with THS. Mom was the strongest, kindness, giving, and toughest person I know. She fought to the end. I know she would have been so happy to see all who attended her service. Thank you all again.