With a broken heart we have to announce the passing of Jack McKay. He died peacefully on Monday, September 4th at Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni. Jack was born in Comox and raised in Union Bay.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Joan; daughter, Lana; son, Todd; beloved grandchildren, Ashley (Will), Carly (Paul) Courtney (Travis) and Nathan; great grandsons, Jack, Bennett, and Brooks; brother, Patrick (Jan); nephews, Mike and Dan and their families; sister, Sheryl; nieces, Lucinda, Robyn and Trisha; as well as a large extended family in both Union Bay and Courtenay. He was predeceased by his parents, Tom and Milla McKay.
Jack attended “The Academy” as he called the school in Union Bay. In January of 1957, he graduated from Courtenay High School and joined his dad in Woss Camp working as a tradesman on the tog trains. In 1959, Jack hopped on a train heading across Canada to Chicago Vocational Training School. He passed all his requirements in Air Conditional and Refrigeration but found that was not his passion. Next venture was buying a gillnet fishing boat the “M.V. Richalene” which he commercial fished for a few years.
Sitting in the famous Fanny Bay Inn (FBI), Jack was approached to drive logging truck in Effingham Inlet and that started his logging career. In 1971, J A McKay Trucking was formed and a contract signed with MacMillian Bloedel as a stump to dump contractor. Throughout the years Jack worked in many areas of the Eastern Division. The most challenging was a Cyre River and the Clayoquot Sound. During the 1980’s, Jack acquired his pilots license and bought a Cesna185 for his commute and then went into partnership with pilot, Mark Andrade to form Klitsa Air.
Jack was on the Board of Directors for the Truck Loggers Association for 14 years, becoming Chairman in 1999 – 2000. He was very involved chairing the Government and Forestry Committee and instrumental in the development of Bill13. He loved logging, going to work everyday and enjoying the camaraderie of all his crew - some with him 35 years – it was his passion!
Jack loved to golf. His belief was just hit the ball hard and long, which always creates problems, either in the bush or the water. He always had his buddies Frank, Doug, and Jim to cheer him on. While he was President of the Alberni Golf Club, he decided the curse needed water. While logging was shut down for the heat one summer, he and brother, Pat brought machines and crew and started digging a reservoir and ponds. How we have a beautiful green course to enjoy.
In 2005, Jack suffered a massive stroke, which changed our lives. He spent 2 months in GF Strong in Vancouver, during which time they were able to get him to walk. We started our journey of rehabilitation for the better part of 10 years travelling to Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Courtenay. We went to Nova Scotia for a speech programme that was offered at Dalhousie University. Jack was always a trooper, he was always very determined to possibly make his file a little better.
Our family would like to thank Dr Daryl Lund, who has been there for us with encouragement and support throughout the 17 years, and to Drs Marsay and Dana and Cindy. A special thanks to the staff of Rainbow Gardens for the loving and compassionate care he received during his time with them.
A Celebration of Jack’s Life will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic hall, 3727 Rogers Street in Port Alberni. If friends would like to make a donation in Jack’s memory, please consider the West Coast General Hospital Foundation or Ty Watson House.
A limb has fallen from the family
Tree that says do grieve not for me
Remember the best times, the laughter,
The song of good life I loved when I was strong.