Family pays tribute to Wetheringsett dad-of-one Austrin McKenna as ‘unique soul who live life to the full’ after 51-year-old died in A140 crash
PUBLISHED: 14:40 22 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:40 22 April 2017
The family of a father who died in a tragic road crash have paid a heartfelt tribute to a “unique soul who lived life to the full”.
Austrin Samuel Maitland McKenna – also known as Sam – suffered serious injuries after a three-vehicle collision on the A140 between Little Stonham and Mendlesham at about 1.50pm on Saturday, April 15.
The 51-year-old, from Wetheringsett, was taken to Ipswich Hospital, where he sadly died.
His family released a tribute through Suffolk Police which read: “Aus was a unique soul who lived life to the full.
“He was a natural artist from a creative family and a skilled cabinet maker, turning his hand to all aspects of woodwork with a special talent for carving.
“He created a wide variety of bespoke pieces including gypsy wagons, wooden homes and fine furniture.
“He had a lifelong ambition to restore his 1890s showman’s wagon to its former glory and had more recently enjoyed planning renovations on a timber cabin which he owned together with his wife Natalie.
“They spent happy times discussing their plans and future involving both projects.
His family added that Mr McKenna’s “warm, approachable personality” meant he “had an ability to engage with people and had a wide circle of friends”.
The statement added: “He was able to put people at ease and was generous, kind, gentle, loving, sensitive and thoughtful.
“He was knowledgeable, reflective, forgiving and never held a grudge. This led him to be able to form strong bonds with people who would look to him for advice and support not only in their everyday lives but also in times of crisis and distress.
“Leading an alternative lifestyle, he was able to share his experiences with a sense of humour that everyone enjoyed.”
Mr McKenna was also an accomplished horseman and was “well known for his love of collectables and antiques”.
He leaves behind a son, Jools, who his family said he “absolutely doted on” - adding: “Together they shared a love of history which led to many days out at museums and places of historical interest in which they both thoroughly enjoyed.
“He was also a loving and supportive father to his stepdaughter Larni, who is currently teaching in Japan.
“Although he was only married to Natalie for 18 months prior to his tragic death, this relationship brought them both immense love and happiness which was obvious to all.
“Aus will be sorely missed by Natalie, Jools and Larni, but also his mother and stepfather Sally and Stewart McKenna, father Bruer Tidman, sisters Jessica and Martha, brother Joseph and half-brother Reuben Martin.
“The family would like to thank everybody for their support and kind messages at this devastating time.”
Mr McKenna’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 3 at Seven Hills Crematorium, Felixstowe Road, Nacton at 3.45pm. Everyone is welcome.
Family flowers only. Donations to The friends of the Brian Hore Unit (www.fbhu.org).
Suffolk Police is asking anyone who may have seen the collision to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police by dialling 101 and quoting CAD number 213 of 15 April.