Obituary of John William McKay
Mr. John William McKay, of Kingsport, TN, passed away on Monday, May 18th, 2020, at the age of 74.
John was born August 30, 1945 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to the late Norvel R. and Pearl A. McKay. After graduating from York Community High School in Elmhurst, Illinois, John enlisted in the United States Army in February of 1964 where he served 13 months in South Vietnam followed by a 2 year stint with the 504th Special Operations Command in Berlin, Germany. Upon completing his 4 years of service, John attended the University of Hawaii earning both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was at UH where John met and married Amy Nakata, the love of his life. They would remain devoted to one another for 52 years.
John began his career as a planner with the City and County of Honolulu before moving to the Washington, D.C. area where he worked with the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors before moving to a position with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. While at FEMA the President appointed John as the Federal Coordinating Officer for three major disasters. He went on to serve as the Director of Training and Superintendent of the Emergency Management Institute for FEMA and ended his career of public service as the Director of the United States Customs and Border Protection Academy in Brunswick, Georgia.
John was a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service for 20 of his 30 years of service. He is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive and the FEMA Director’s award among others. After retirement, John worked as a disaster reservist for FEMA and consultant for the Emergency Management Institute.
John will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father and Papa, beloved brother and uncle, avid learner, loyal friend and patriot. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.
In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by one sister, Viva Owens, one brother, George McKay, and his nephew, Raymond McKay.
Survivors include his wife of fifty years, Amy McKay; daughter, Alison Garrett and her husband Mark; son, John McKay; grandchildren James McKay, Tatum Garrett, Aubrey Garrett, and Luke Garrett; his brother Joe McKay and wife Kathy; sister Sherrie Evans and husband Kevin, sister-in-law, Patti McKay, and brother-in-law, Jerry Owens.
The family of Mr. John McKay will receive friends from 11 AM to 12 PM Friday May 22, 2020, with a memorial service at 12 PM at Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Kingsport, TN with Arden Taylor officiating. John will be laid to rest at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in a private ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60601 are appreciated.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John McKay, please visit Tribute Store