Jim was a caring and attentive husband, a supportive and proud father, and a loyal friend to many. He was hard-working, generous, quick with a joke, and always ready with a story. Jim was a great man who will be greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
James J. McKay, 82, of West Chester, PA died on Friday, May 5. He was born in Darby, PA and grew up in Collingdale, PA with his older sister Mickey. In 1959 he graduated from Collingdale High School and while in school he played baseball, basketball, and football. Jim joined the Naval Reserve as a junior in high school and went into the Navy after graduation. He served three years as an aircraft electrician while stationed at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. Upon honorable discharge, he began working for Boeing Vertol as an Electrical Test Technician working on Chinook and Sea Knight helicopters that were used in the Vietnam War.
While working at Boeing, Jim attended St. Joseph’s University and received a Bachelors of Business degree. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania working toward a Masters Degree in Organizational Dynamics. He formed a successful career in pharmaceutical sales starting with two years at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and then 31 years at Wallace Laboratories. He was quickly promoted to District Sales Manager and moved to Hartford, CT for five years to manage the New England district. He returned to the Philadelphia area to manage the Philadelphia district and was promoted to Senior District Manager before he retired in 2003.
A series of interests kept Jim active through the years. He was drawn to flying and became an instrument rated commercial pilot with a flight instructor rating. Jim loved to ski and visited mountains all over Vermont, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Colorado. While living in Connecticut, Jim joined the National Ski Patrol and volunteered at Mt. Tom in Holyoke, MA. Upon returning to the Philadelphia area, he transferred to the Camelback Ski Patrol and volunteered there for the next 41 years during which he achieved Senior Patrol status. Jim was also an avid golfer and played courses throughout Delaware and Chester Counties and was a member of the Hershey’s Mill Golf Club. As someone who grew up playing football near Philadelphia, he became a loyal Eagles fan and was a season ticket holder for a number of years and enjoyed attending games with his son, Brian.
Jim enjoyed traveling with his wife Ann and the couple traveled to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Bermuda, islands in the Caribbean, and went on many cruises. Along the way, he received his Irish Citizenship and had dual citizenship for many years in the United States and Ireland. He also enjoyed spending time with his son, teaching him to ski and golf, going on vacations together, and helping him work on home improvement projects.
He is survived by his wife Ann McKay, son Brian McKay and his wife Paula, grandchildren Maya and Joey McKay, his sister Mickey Horan and her husband Richard, and his nieces and nephews.
Please join the McKay family on Monday, May 15, from 4:00-6:00 for visitation, a brief prayer service, and rendering of US Naval Honors. Interment will be private, at a later date.