William Douglas McKay
(21 August 1940 to 12 May 2022)
Bill was born the youngest of three brothers in Penticton, BC. As a boy, he moved around the BC interior due to his father’s policing career and spent his formative years in Trail, BC.
Prior to attending the Royal Military College, Bill spent time in the BC Forest Service and was a militiaman in the 24th Medium Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Bill’s time at RMC, he claimed, was marked by a record number of circles run around the track for various reasons, but he was part of the Class of 1963 and was commissioned into the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
Bill served in Calgary, Germany, Cyprus, Kingston, Ottawa, Petawawa, and the United Kingdom, but the most significant posting for him was Victoria, where he met Wendy and within a year, married her. Over the years, he staunchly supported her hobby breeding and showing Weimaraners and German Wirehaired Pointers.
Bill left the Army in 1989, when he went to work in the information technology sector. He transitioned into consulting a few years later and most of this was in the public sector. Most of the consultancy pertained to the Department of National Defence, but one of the more memorable projects was with Health Canada during the 2003 SARS epidemic. He finally retired in late 2020.
Country living, which had been a facet of his life since 1981, became its centerpiece after retirement. This meant hours spent landscaping and working with his tractor, interspersed with reading and when possible, travelling. He also served on the board of the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum culminating in his time as the President. He was also a member of the executive of the Ottawa branch of the RMC Club.
Bill is survived by his wife, Wendy, his son, Dr James McKay, daughter-in-law, Janet, and his granddaughter, Ella as well as his sister-in-law, Denise, and his nieces and nephews.
Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for our neighbours, the fire department and local first response crews, and the team at the Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital for their professionalism, efforts, and most of all, their compassion in his final hours. We will be grateful forever.
A graveside ceremony will be held at the National Military Cemetery, part of the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, at 11 am on the 10th of June, 2022.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill can be made to the Arnprior Regional Health Foundation Ways to Give – Arnprior Regional Health.