Funeral services to celebrate the life of Julius “Jay” Walker McKay, 95, of Columbia will be held at 11 o’clock, Monday, July 9th, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201, with The Very Reverend Tim Jones officiating. Interment will follow the service in the churchyard, afterwhich a reception for family and friends will be held in Satterlee Hall. McKay passed away on July 6, 2018.
A native of Columbia, McKay was born on February 8, 1923, son of the late Douglas McKay and Anne Walker McKay; his two brothers, Douglas McKay, Jr. and Buchanan McMaster McKay; and his sister, Anne McKay Chalgren. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ladson Mills McKay; his children, Julius Walker McKay, Jr. (Sally) and Elizabeth Ladson McKay Moosbrugger (John) of Cleveland, Ohio. He is also survived by his grandchildren: John Walker Moosbrugger, Stephen Mills Moosbrugger, Julius Walker McKay III and James Mitchell McKay; as well as many nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews whom he adored.
McKay was a generous and unassuming gentleman whose favorite hobby was collecting friends. He loved to sit on his front porch and tempt joggers away from their appointed rounds. McKay was known for being charming and kind, was game for anything and was always ready for the next adventure. He loved a good party but never hesitated to tell people when it was time to go home. He delighted in sunrises and sunsets. A confirmed bachelor until age 40, he met and fell madly in love with Betsy Mills in 1963, saying she was “well worth the wait.”
In 1953, he left Trinity Church to plant St. Martin’s in-the-Fields Episcopal Church where he started Boy Scout Troop 4. At one time, the troop was home to the largest Explorer Post of Eagle Scouts in the country. McKay was a moral compass and personal mentor for many young men. At a recent reunion, his Eagle Scouts said he was “A man who proved through his own life that honor and responsibility were character traits that were rewards for truth, honesty, and respect. Respect for those who chose to walk the path towards manhood with an understanding that our world was a thing made richer by giving some part of ourselves to a group, a cause or a belief that was bigger than our own individual egos and self interest.” He was the awarded the Silver Beaver Award from Boy Scouts of America for leaders of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service to Scouting.
Upon returning to Trinity Cathedral, McKay served as senior warden and in numerous other leadership roles. He devoted himself to community service, serving on Richland County Council for four years as the only Republican among 12 Democrats. McKay was awarded the Compleat Platinum Lawyer, served in WWII, Co-founded the St. Andrew’s Society, and was a Member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was the president of the Richland County Bar Association and the South Carolina State Bar Association. McKay retired from Haynesworth Sinkler Boyd after 50 years of practicing law.
One of his proudest achievements was the building of the new Richland County Public Library on Assembly Street and the expansion and upgrade of nine branches across Richland County during his tenure as president of the Board of Trustees. The library was subsequently named Best in the Country in 2001.
After retirement, McKay enjoyed spending summers in Little Switzerland, NC, where he served on the Bishop’s Committee at the Church of the Resurrection, was the chair of the town Roads Committee, and convener of the Wednesday Morning Coffee Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Richland Library Foundation (mail to Tina Gills, Development Director, Richland Library, 1431 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201) or the Trinity Foundation (1100 Sumter Street. Columbia, South Carolina 29201). Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, is assisting the family.
Posted in: Shives Funeral Home
Posted on: 2018-07-16
Link to original obituary: http://www.shivesfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Julius-McKay/#!/Obituary