Captain Daniel Finley MacKinnon VIII passed away on November 14, 2023 at PAM Medical Center in Hammond, LA due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. In the days preceding his death, Dad was surrounded by friends and family from all around the country.
He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Diana “Dee Dee” MacKinnon (White); his two sons, Ian Andrew and Daniel Finley IX (Bridget); grandsons, Ethan Marten Trinh and David Andrew MacKinnon; siblings John and Sylvia MacKinnon, Bonnie MacKinnon, Alis MacKinnon, Mary MacKinnon, and Will and Sherry MacKinnon; Siblings-in-Law Florence and Ward Nelson, Kendrick and Ethelyn White, and Allison and Wayne “Poor Uncle Wayne” Lomax; nieces Ngaere MacKinnon, Jessika MacKinnon, Jennifer White Sonier (Mike), Elizabeth MacKinnon (Mark), Hilda MacKinnon, and Lila MacKinnon; nephews Krister Rollins (Amy), Kendrick White, Sam MacKinnon, and Duncan MacKinnon.
He was preceded in death by his parents Daniel Finley MacKinnon VII and Josephine Lowell MacKinnon, mother-in-law Florence Armstrong White, and sister Ann MacKinnon.
Dan was born in Portsmouth, NH on December 8, 1945 and raised in Berlin, NH where he graduated from Berlin High School in 1963. He attended Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME where he trained to be a ship’s officer and graduated with a B.S in 1968. After graduation, Dan went to work for Lykes Brother Steamship Company out of New Orleans and he remained a resident of South Louisiana for the next 55 years. He sailed for Lykes for 25 years and saw every major port in nearly every country that was not locked behind the Iron Curtain. For the first five years of his sailing career, he held a commission as a reserve officer in the United States Navy Reserve during the Vietnam War, carried munitions and supplies into Saigon and other ports in the conflict area, and was discharged as a Lieutenant in 1973. He sailed for most of his career as Chief Mate until sitting for his Masters License in 1987 and sailing his final years as master. He retired from Lykes Brothers in 1993.
Following retirement from going to sea, Dan began a second career as a marine surveyor working 24 years for Technical Maritime Associates and Dufour, Laskey, and Strauss. This career also took him around the world and let him visit some of the countries that had been locked away under Communism during his years of sailing. Dan was the lead surveyor in the investigation into what caused the merchant ship Bright Field to lose control and strike the New Orleans Riverwalk in 1996.
Dan grew up playing hockey, football, and baseball and loved sports throughout his life. As an adult, he enjoyed softball and sailing with golf serving as an excuse to hide on the course and drink beer while he was at college. He was an avid hunter and fisherman as a child and continued to fish throughout his life. He mostly gave up hunting, except for an occasional trip to Labrador with his father, once he moved south due to his strong fear of and aversion to the snakes found everywhere in Louisiana. Dad loved to be on the water and continued to boat and sail long after he retired from going to sea.
Dad had a lifelong love for cats and dogs. He rescued and kept many throughout his life, especially after moving to Independence.
Dan loved to cook and learned many of his recipes from the stewards on his ships. His favorite holiday was Thanksgiving and he loved to prepare all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes for everyone to enjoy. He only ever cooked one bad meal, in 1988, and we never let him live it down.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Visitation at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home - Hammond, 2000 N. Morrison Blvd, Hammond, Louisiana 70401, on Friday, December 8, 2023 from 9:00 am until services begin at 11:00 am.