Jan. 23,1918 - Feb. 7, 2010
James Robert McKay born in Spokane, raised on the family farm in Almira, Wash. James, a proud Cougar, graduated from Washington State University with a degree in vocational education. He married the apple of his eye, Elizabeth Jane Mathison, on Nov. 20, 1941, in Walla Walla.
James was a World War II veteran, serving on the Pacific front, stationed in the Aleutians. He received the American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal. He taught in Reardon, Lind, Fairfield, completing his teaching career with over 30 years in the Walla Walla School District. Upon his retirement, he and his wife Dede ran two galleries and a bed and breakfast in Walla Walla and in Lincoln City, Ore. He has lived the last 30 years in the community of Spokane. He was active throughout his years in the Future Farmers of America, 4H, and served as president for the local and national organizations of The Gardeners of America. In his retirement years, James actively participated in the educational gardening groups that went to schools and worked on beautification projects supported by his local gardening association. He was a certified master gardener.
James Robert is survived by his wife of 68 years, Dede; his children, Robert McKay (Maddy), James McKay (Lisa), Margarette Hayes (Al), all of Seattle, Hilda Rudolph (Rocky), of Escondido, Calif, Allison Williams (Allan), Wenatchee, and Kay O'Rourke, Regina Freuen (Dennis), of Spokane. He is also survived by siblings, Eileen Millikan and William McKay, of Almira, Wash. and Doris Egbert, of Los Angeles, Calif. James has 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his parents, James and Hilda McKay; brothers, Philip and David McKay. Visitation will be held Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 from noon until 5 p.m. at the funeral home with a vigil service to follow at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 3720 E. Colbert Rd., Colbert, Wash., Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with a Reception to follow.
James was a man of honor and was described as "walking the talk." Flowers are welcomed or donations in his honor to the charity of your choice. Please visit James' memorial and leave a condolence at: www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com Arrangements entrusted to Hennessey Smith Funeral Home, 2203 N. Division, Spokane, WA., 99207.