Photography

Donald Raymond McKay Jr.

September 25, 1952 ~ November 12, 2021 (age 69)

Obituary

Donald Raymond McKay, Jr. went to heaven on Friday, November 12, 2021, after being able to celebrate one last Veteran’s Day. He died of urothelial cancer and his wife of 45 years, Jenny, is still trying to figure out how to blame it on him.

Don was born to Ann Carol (Plantz) McKay and Donald Raymond McKay in Rochester, New York, on September 25, 1952. His family immediately started calling him “Chip.” Some say it was because Don was a “Chip off the old block,” but others say it started because Don has a cousin named “Dale” and the two became Chip and Dale. Whatever the reason, the immediate family still calls him “Chip.”

Don’s health wasn’t great in the cold, damp climate of New York, so the family headed off for sunny Southern California. Most of his formative years were in California until he decided to see the world, compliments of Uncle Sam. The Army was an easy choice since his draft lottery number was low and he was going to be drafted anyway.

Don spent five years in the Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant and becoming part of an elite team of Army Rangers. Of course, Viet Nam was included in the world tour. It is in Viet Nam that he was exposed to Agent Orange which led to a lifetime of health issues and ultimately, his death. He ended his Army time at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. Don was so drawn to Colorado, not only because of the scenic views, but because of the rock climbing and skiing that he enjoyed.

While visiting his Mom after the Army, Don met his future wife, Jenifer Jo McGaughey. They met at church and decided to get married without ever having a date. Married on May 8, 1976, they moved to Phoenix for Don to attend Southwestern Bible College. Don pastored a church there while attending classes. Don’s longing for Colorado never waned. Soon, Don and Jenny were off to Colorado for Don to attend seminary. He earned a Masters Degree in Theology with a minor in Biblical languages. He worked in various pastoral positions. Missions was a particular interest to Don and he individually supported missionaries to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Don’s other interests included scuba diving, which he shared with all of his children. He also enjoyed gardening but could never master pepper plants. Reading was his all time passion as he was rarely without a book or his iPad. So great was Don’s passion for reading that he was sitting in a room reading The Lord of the Rings while waiting for his wedding to start.

Don is remembered as a man of few words. The only two surefire ways to get him talking were to discuss the Bible or politics. His daughters joked with him that he was dying just so he didn’t have to see what Biden would do next. Even in his final days, Don’s dry sense of humor and penchant for correcting improper grammar remained intact. When a nurse improperly asked, “Can I take your blood pressure?” Don characteristically responded with, “I don’t know, can you?” 

Don was preceded in death by his father and his sister, Tracy. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Jenifer; his son, Daniel of Michigan; his daughters, Rebekah of Pennsylvania and Sarah of Colorado. Grandchildren include Logan, Ashlyn, Declan, Trenton and Quinton of Pennsylvania and Eleanor and Samuel of Colorado. Also surviving Don is his mother, Ann of California; sister Lori, of California; brother Scott of Colorado; brother Chuck of California; brother Richard of Missouri and brother Kelly of California. And then there is Ranger, Don’s dog who was a companion, playmate, confidant, and protector to him.

No matter how far you've gone from God, the journey back is just one step. Even if you think you've ruined everything God had for you, remember that you are not that powerful. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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