Joseph Emmett McKay, a lifelong resident of Bozeman, passed away on Feb. 18, 2010. Joe was born to James and Mildred McKay on April 3, 1920, in Bozeman. Joe was 89.
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He married Kathryn (Berry) of Butte on Dec. 12, 1942, in San Francisco. Together they had a daughter and four sons. They were married 67 years.
Joe graduated from Holy Rosary High School in 1939, and then went on to serve his country in the U.S. Navy. He was a radar specialist onboard the USS Sturgeon (S-187) in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945 during World War II. The Sturgeon won five battle stars while he was on the crew. He left the Navy as second class petty officer to return to Bozeman with Kay to raise his family and serve God. He spent 28 years with the FL Dye Company as an electrician and then 10 years with Service Electric.
Joe was a lifetime member of Holy Rosary Parish, a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, IBEW No. 416 for 58 years and the Buffalo Chapter Sub-Service. He was an avid hunter and fisherman whose love of the Montana outdoors had no bounds. His interests also included metal crafting of his "Little People." His artwork peppers the landscape around the Gallatin Valley and reflects his dry sense of humor and love of his family and life. He took great pride in his vegetable garden, which he worked on all summer.
Over the years, his comments on life's comedies and everyday events were regular editorials in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He will be sorely missed, but his zest and generous spirit survive him and sustain those he leaves behind.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, four brothers, and his lovely daughter, Mary Eileen (Sissy) Knoll.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; and his four sons: Robert (Sharon) of Stockton, Calif., Kenneth (Sandy) of Pittsburgh, George (Deanna) of Columbus, and James (Diana) of Corvallis. His son-in-law, Kary Knoll of Baraboo, Wis., Sandy Long McKay of Bozeman, 18 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews spread coast-to-coast complement Joe's family.
Family gatherings held at home in Bozeman or family get-togethers of small groups were as important to Joe as fishing with his friends. Joe's constant fishing buddy was Jack Atkinson of Bozeman.
A visitation will be held at Dahl's Funeral Chapel, 300 Highland Blvd., on Sunday, Feb. 21, from noon to 5 p.m. Family will be present from 2 to 3 p.m. On Monday, a rosary will be led by the Knights of Columbus at 5 p.m., followed by a vigil at 5:30 p.m.
Funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, with burial to follow in Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Holy Rosary Catholic Church Building Fund, 220 W. Main St., Bozeman, MT 59715; or to charities of the donor's choice.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 21, 2010