Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Lt. Colonel Lawrence Edward McKay, Jr.
Charleston lost one of her truly fine gentlemen on Thursday, August 8, 2013, when Lawrence Edward McKay, Jr. went to be with his Heavenly Father. The relatives and friends of Lawrence McKay, Jr. were invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, August 12, 2013 in Christ Our King Catholic Church, 1147 Russell Drive at 10 a.m. Prayers of Final Commendation and Farewell followed in Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens with military honors. The family received friends on Sunday, August 11, 2013 in J. HENRY STUHR, INC., MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. The rosary was recited at 6:00 p.m.
Larry was born in Charleston, South Carolina on August 26, 1936, son of Beatrice Stroman McKay and the late Lawrence Edward McKay, Sr. He grew up playing on the Moultrie playground, was one of Mr. Matty Matthews Golden Glove Champions and graduated from Bishop England High School. At the Citadel, he was elected president of the Class of 1958 and received the prestigious Willson Ring.
Since graduating from The Citadel, McKay dedicated his efforts to proudly serve his county, country, community and family as a citizen-soldier, the hallmark of every Citadel graduate. He earned a Masters Degree from Duke University en route to a teaching assignment in the Department of Social Sciences, USMA, West Point. He spent 20 years on active duty including tours in Vietnam as Aviation Officer 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and later as Commanding Officer, F. Battery, 79th Aerial Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, lst Cavalry Division. His “Blue Max” Cobra attack helicopter unit was selected as the Army Aviation Association of America unit of the year for tank kills at the Battle of An Loc, Easter, 1972. At the Battle of An Loc, Larry McKay and his co-pilot, Barry McIntyre, became the first helicopter pilots in history to destroy an enemy tank. McKay’s military decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Bronze Star.
McKay returned home to Charleston in 1978 to become the Headmaster at East Cooper School. He served as a Vice President and Officer at the Seabrook Island Company and at Wild Dunes Associates. He was the founding President of the Wild Dunes Telecommunication Company, the first shared-tenant telephone company in South Carolina. He currently served on the Boards of three businesses, and is a founding partner in Horizon Capital Group.
General Grimsley selected McKay to be the Director of Student Activities at The Citadel where he taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Department. Back at The Citadel, his multiple duties included: producing The Citadel Sesquicentennial Tattoo, volunteer fundraiser for The Citadel Band, Pipes and Drums trip to participate in the Edinburgh Tattoo, faculty advisor for cadet trip to former Soviet Union Naval Academy at Sevastopol, Crimean during the transition of naval forces to Russia and Ukraine, and faculty advisor for a 2005 Business School cadet trip to Wall Street and corporate America in 2005.
McKay’s community support includes service on the Trident United Way Board, Junior Achievement Board, Youth Services Charleston Board, Christ Our King Parish Council, Chairman of Golf Committees for the Kidney Foundation, Rice Planters, and The USCA Senior Amateur at Wild Dunes. He was the President of the East Cooper Meals on Wheels Board.
Colonel McKay is survived by his mother, Beatrice S. McKay; his wife of 54 years, Fay Chapman McKay; four children, Lanny McKay and his wife, Lisa Hodgdon, Tricy McKay Cushner and her husband, Michael, Chappy McKay and his wife, Sarah Ellis, and Bitsy McKay Moores and her husband, Duane; nine grandchildren, Rylee McKay, Aidan McKay, Cameron Cushner, Wade Cushner, Caroline Cushner, Ellis McKay, Maggie McKay, Trevor Moores and Clayton Moores.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lawrence Edward McKay and his brother, Fred McKay.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Charleston Catholic School, 888-A King Street, Charleston, SC 29403.
A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting the Stuhr’s website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.