John "Jack" Patterson McKay Sr., former representative
John "Jack" Patterson McKay Sr., 98, of Lewes and Hockessin, a former Delaware state representative, passed away peacefully Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. He was the son of the late Dr. John Finlayson McKay and Jeanette (Patterson) McKay of Grand Forks N.D. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by two sisters, Iola and Flora.
Jack was a 1934 graduate from Bowesmont High School in North Dakota. There were five people in his graduating class and they received publicity in 2007 for all being alive and over the age of 90. He then attended the University of North Dakota, joined Phi Delta Theta and was their president in his senior year. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. He then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated in 1940 with his master's degree.
Jack was hired by the DuPont Company and had a number of assignments at the Chambers Works. One significant assignment was the Manhattan Project. A number of promotions followed and he retired as works engineer after 35 years of service in 1975.
He became active in politics, serving as a representative district chairman before being elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 1974. While serving for eight years, he was elected the Republican Minority Whip and worked on and chaired a number of committees. Jack was noted for his conservative position on "taxpayer's money" expenditures. He was president of the Deerhurst Civic Association and the West Farm Maintenance Corporation and helped organize the Kennett Pike Association. He was a member of the DuPont Country Club, Rehoboth Beach Country Club and the Lewes Yacht Club, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Chemical Society.
In 1946, Jack married Julia Ann "Judy" Patterson, a native of Wilmington, and built a home in West Farm, Greenville, residing there for 25 years and raising their three sons. After retiring from DuPont and the Legislature, they spent 16 winters at John's Island in Vero Beach, Fla., and the summers in Lewes. After selling their condo in Florida, they moved to Cokesbury Village in Hockessin for the winters and still spent summers in Lewes.
Jack is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Julia Ann (Patterson) McKay; three sons, John Patterson McKay Jr and his wife Linda, Richard Garrett McKay and his wife Robin, all of Hockessin, and James Patterson McKay and his wife Janet of Hudson, Ohio; three grandsons, Richard "Garrett" McKay Jr. of Hockessin, Jonathon David McKay of Columbus, Ohio and Jason David McKay of Phoenix, Ariz.; and one brother; George James McKay of Fargo, N.D.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 1, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Second and Market streets, Lewes. Interment will be private. Arrangements by Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Lewes.
The family suggests memorial contributions to: Trinity Episcopal Church, 1108 N. Adams St., Wilmington, DE 19899, or St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Second and Market sts., Lewes, DE 19958.