Howard Lee McKay

Howard Lee McKay
Howard Lee McKay(Howard Lee McKay)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT
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Howard Lee McKay, 88 of Jane Lew (Good Hope Community, Harrison Co. WV) went to be with his Lord and Savior, passing into his eternal life at 3:00 AM, on Tuesday May 24, 2022 in the comfort of his home with his wife by his side, under the compassionate and much appreciated care of WVU- Medicine Hospice, following a long courageous battle with COPD and heart disease. He was born on August 31, 1933, in Lima, Tyler County, WV. Howard was the son of the late Joseph Edward McKay and Ethelyn Beatrice (Musser) McKay Whitter Balducci. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his two step-fathers: Chester H. Witter and Wilbert H. Balducci; four brothers and spouses: Homer E. and wife, Gladys (Carney) McKay, Homers first wife, Madalyn (Winland) McKay, Denzil M. McKay and wife, Opal (Swiger) McKay, Hamilton, Robert J. and wife, Ruth E. (Swiger) McKay,  and Chester L. McKay; one brother-in-law, W. Bruce Sullivan; Howards second wife: the former Mary J. (Butcher) Davis McKay; father and mother-in-law: Charles and Ruby (Harper) Eubank; sister-in-law: Shirley J. Eubank, several nieces and nephews, and an uncle, Carlton Musser, who died on February 20, 1945 at Luxembourg, Germany during WWII, at age 23. When Howards parents divorced around 1945, his mother moved to Newton Falls, OH. He spent his early years there. He quit Elementary School in Ohio during 7th grade and moved back to WV to live with his father. He later received his state High School equivalent diploma on February 14, 1979, from the WV Board of Education of Charleston, WV. Howard proudly served his country in the United States Army MPC and was a Korean War Veteran. He entered active duty on December, 15, 1953, enlisting in Cleveland, OH. He completed his time of service on December 2, 1955, receiving his honorable discharge at Fort Sheridan, IL. After completing his training, he was later assigned to CO.D, 728TH Military Police. His detail in Korea was railway security. During his time of service he was awarded a National Defense Service Medal, a Korean Service Ribbon, and a United Nations Service Medal. Howards four brothers also had military service. During his diverse career, Howard had multiple jobs and wore many different hats. He began as a young teenager performing varieties of farm work in WV. While living in OH at different intervals, he worked at forging shops, one of which he was making air plane parts, a steel mill, a chicken farm, and a floral shop. When country roads brought him home to stay (he truly loved living in his native state best), he worked at the Louie Glass Factory, the Alkahn Label Factory, and the Old Weston State Hospital as a security guard. On October 30, 1978, he completed a National Safety Councils Defense Driving Course. He ended his career as a utility general trades worker and security duty at the WVU- Jacksons Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center, retiring in 1994 with 16 years of service. Besides his regular duties, he kept the sound systems, microphones, and AV electronic equipment in repair, and checked the fire alarms. He was given high marks for his technical knowledge and rated as exceeding the standards of his job. While working at Jacksons Mill, he was recognized with an appreciation award presented to him by extension agent, the late William Frye, in November 1981, for all of his assistance to the Lewis County 4-H Programs. On December 17, 1983, Howard received his earliest best Christmas gift his of lifetime, when he was united in marriage with his wife, Nancy Rosalie Eubank at the First United Methodist Church of Jane Lew. His life changed and he found his true home with a beloved front porch. They moved into their home in July 1986. The very first piece of furniture that he bought was a swing for his porch. He had a variety of hobbies, which included doing leather work, making rings from steel pipe, recording cassettes, VHS tapes and taught himself how to make DVD recordings, working on electronic equipment, clocks, and watches, mastered photography and played music. His greatest passion was his music. He had a love and talent for a variety of instruments and could play guitar, mandolin, harmonicas, keyboard and his most favorite instrument, the banjo. When living in OH, he played guitar and sang at local clubs and the VFW’s. He most loved playing music at home with his son. He liked traditional country music, instrumentals, bluegrass and his greatest favorite, bluegrass gospel. His most favorite gospel song was The Old Rugged Cross and his most favorite singer was Mac Wiseman. He liked riding around the fields with his son, deer hunting in November and enjoyed his daughter’s cookouts in the summer and spending time with family at small gatherings. He also loved going to yard and garage sales, flea markets, and supporting the local church sales. He was a real homebody and loved spending his golden years on his front porch with his wife and dog. His favorite flowers were roses. Howard’s memory will live on in the hearts of all those who knew and loved him and he will be greatly missed by his survivors; his devoted wife of 38 ½ years, Nancy McKay; his two children: Howard Steven McKay and wife, Cathy, of Jane Lew, and Karen Sue McKay Wilfong and husband, Michael, of West Milford; three grandchildren: Trisha McKay Tenney Dunn, of Jane Lew, Christina Wilfong Barnes and husband, Jason, of Hubert, NC, and Joshua Wilfong, of Lost Creek; seven great-grandchildren: Aaron, Austin, and Kayla Tenney, and Preston and Hudson Barnes, and Cohen and Avery Wilfong; first wife and mother of his children, Ramona McClung McKay, of Kincheloe; one sister, Mary L Whitter Sullivan, of Newton Falls, OH; sister-in-law, Ida McKay, of Warren OH; brother-in-laws: Harold Eubank and wife, Barbara, of Jane Lew, and Mitchell Eubank; and sister-in-laws: Mary and Doris Eubank, of Braxton Co.; a special cousin, Jewell Swiger Sponaugle; a special niece, Barbara McKay Marsh, of Newton Falls, OH, who always blessed Howard with cards and phone calls. And his loving canine the great Chihuahua, Banjo McKay II, will also miss Howard. Waiting to greet him just this side of Heaven’s gate by the foot of the Rainbow Bridge will be his faithful beagle, Lady and his very sassy Chihuahua, Cookie. In lieu of flowers, Howard’s family has requested donations be sent to Jane Lew Methodist Church, Broad Run Baptist Church, or WVU- Hospice. Family and friends will gather for Visitation at Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service located at 144 Hackers Creek Rd. in Jane Lew from 12-2 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2022. Funeral Services will begin at 2 p.m. in the Pat Boyle Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Shawn Weaver officiating. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Jane Lew with full military honors accorded by the United States Army and Lewis County Honor Guard. We, at Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service, appreciate the service of Howard Lee McKay and it has been our honor and privilege to serve his family. 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