GEORGE WILLIAM McKAY SR., 96, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at home. Born March 14, 1917, in Fort Wayne, George was the son of William Thomson McKay and Ruth Beers McKay. He graduated from Central High School in Fort Wayne and from Williams College, majoring in biology and foreign languages. He started working with G.E. Bursley and Co. in 1938 and married Barbara Stafford in 1940. After the United States was drawn in to World War II, George served in the U.S. Army from 1942 until 1946 when he was discharged as 1st Lieutenant. Back home in Fort Wayne, he became executive vice-president of Bursley. In 1957, Bursley merged with Bluffton Grocery Co. to form Food Marketing. A year later, he was named president of Food Marketing. Super Valu acquired Food Marketing in 1963, which led to his moving to Minneapolis to become executive vice-president of operations and later president and CEO of Super Valu in 1970. From 1973 to 1979, George was vice-chairman of the board. After his wife Barbara's death, he married Nancy Kover Blackburn. After his retirement, he and Nancy moved back to Fort Wayne. In 1980, he and Don Murphy opened the first Cub supermarket in Indianapolis, which led to two more Cub stores in Indianapolis and two in Toledo, two County Markets in Terre Haute and seven Save a Lot grocery stores. In addition to his six decades in the grocery business, George served on the board of directors for 20 years of NAWGA (National American Wholesale Grocery Association) including two terms as its chairman and president. George was also active in S.C.O.R.E., an organization of retired businessmen, who help those who want to start a business. He was elected to Fort Wayne's Business Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2013, George was honored by United Way of Allen County for his 75 years of giving to their organization. George was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church where he was an elder and member of the Board of Trustees, Rotary Club (past president), Quest Club (50 years) and Fort Wayne Country Club (past president) where George enjoyed playing golf. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and had many fond memories of trips with family and friends. Surviving are his three sons, Rusty (Patricia) of Indianapolis, Tad (Wendy) of Indian Wells, Calif. and George Jr. of Traverse City, Mich.; two step-daughters Jean (Bill) Chandler of Olney, Ill. and Susan (David) Meyer of Fort Wayne; 12 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Nancy; and sisters, Kate Walley and Marion Rastetter Walley. Memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church, 300 West Wayne St., with visitation one hour prior to the service. The Reverend Jeff Lehn officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to First Presbyterian Church, 300 West Wayne St.; or Visiting Nurse Hospice Home, 5910 Homestead Road. Arrangements by Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home, Wayne Street Chapel, 420 West Wayne St., Fort Wayne. www.klaehnfahlmelton.com
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Jan. 23, 2014