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Patrick Joseph McKenna 1948-2021

Patrick Joseph McKenna, of Mansfield, died December 29, 2021 at his home in Storrs.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1948, he was the eldest child of the late Michael Nicholas McKenna and Katherine Patricia O'Neill. Joe immigrated to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Michigan, which he received in 1976. His career as a researcher and educator began at the University of Wyoming followed by the University of Florida. He would culminate his career at the University of Connecticut in 1986 as a full professor. He would later be recognized for his excellence in both advancing his field and passing on his knowledge and passion for mathematics. He published at least 115 scholarly articles, and his articles have been cited by others more than 2,500 times. In 2004 Joe won the Mathematical Association of America's Northeast Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. He mentored 14 students who went on to earn their own PhDs, two of whom have gone on to mentor other PhD students. He also loved cooking, reading and walking with his shih tzus (and the dogs' cat).

The family asks that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Willimantic Food Co-op (, the Mansfield Animal shelter (, or The National Bail Out #freeblackmamas (

He is survived by his former wife, Maida, his siblings, Michael, Catriona, Mary and John, and by his children, Brendan, Emer, and Fedelma.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. For an online memorial guestbook, please visit

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