Memorial’s Ribbon Cutting Set for Slain Bainbridge Counselor

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A touching tribute to a revered Bainbridge Island school counselor set to be unveiled. Jeffrey McKinstry, 53, was killed in October 2007 by his mentally ill son. And since then, many in the Ordway Elementary School community had been searching for ways to honor their fallen counselor (pictured).

At 5 p.m. May 5, the fruits of their labor will be completed at the ribbon cutting for the “Counselor’s Corner.” Plans for the memorial include a concrete “swirl” of cement forming a bench that’s decorated with yellow school buses and
Jolly Rancher candies.

Deborah Baker, a member of the committee for the memorial, said Monday that both the buses and the candies  “reflect pieces of Jeff’s legacy.”

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“He met those buses every single morning to welcome kids to school … in the rain, snow, wind, blackness…he was always there,” she said. “He will also forever be remembered for handing out Jolly Ranchers to kids to help them through a rough spot, brighten their day, celebrate their accomplishments or just because.”

McKinstry’s son, Garrett McKinstry, was found to be legally insane at the time of killing his father, and remains indefinitely at Western State Hospital.

McKinstry’s family will cut the ribbon, his collegues and those he’s helped will speak, and the school’s choir will perform at the dedication.

The memorial is being constructed by Larry Hove, principalof Boulevard Design in Suquamish. The ceramic buses and candies have been created by a Whidbey Island artist.

There will also be a reception following the dedication in the Ordway Elementary gym, Baker said.

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