WOODSTOCK, Md. — Gary Rex McKay passed away Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, at his home.
He was born April 28, 1938, in Pittsburgh, Pa., to the late Rex and Methel (Thatcher) McKay. He grew up in Amity, Ohio, and graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1956, where he lettered two years in a row (junior and senior) as an offensive and defensive tackle in his four years of play. He was referred to by his Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets teammates as, “respected, the one to set the example, a quiet leader that was intense, and hard working.” Within the past few years, he was reunited with many of his teammates when they dedicated a plaque to the deceased Coach Ben Wilson.
After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy. During his Naval career, he spent much time at sea serving on the USS Shenandoah, which was based out of Norfolk, Va. He was later promoted to Chief serving on the base at Damn Neck in Virginia Beach, Va. While serving at Damn Neck, he spent six months in the Netherlands to study the first “flying ship” the hydrofoil. Upon returning to the States, he and his family were transferred to Seattle, Wash., where he worked on the first hydrofoil, The USS Pagasus. After serving in Seattle, he retired from the Navy after 20 years of service as a Retired Grade FTGC (Fire Technician and Gun Control) on June 1, 1976.
After his retirement, he and his family moved into the Maryland area where he was raised a member of the Masonic Wheaton Lodge No. 228 on Nov. 16, 1978. He continued his career doing contract work for the Navy. Eventually, he chose to completely retire and spend his time on the golf course, woodworking, fishing, hunting, reading and spending time with his grandkids.
He is survived by his two sisters, Donna Lynch of Ruckersville, Va., and Joyce (Harold) Hardin of Powell, Ohio; his three children, son, Terry (Shannon) McKay of McKinney, Texas; two daughters, Brenda (Douglas) Eshelman of Fulton, Md., and Pamela (William) Rollyson of Mount Airy, Md.; his four grandchildren, Evan and Christina Eshelman, and Brian and Kaitlyn Rollyson.
Upon his request, services were held for Gary Rex McKay on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at the chapel of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, where he had completed extensive renovation. On Saturday, April 28, 2012, which would have been his 74th birthday, the Navy honored him with a service dispersing his ashes amongst the sea he loved.
Submitted by his son, Terry A. McKay; and daughters, Brenda M. Eshelman and Pamela M. Rollyson.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.