Gerald's Story

BREWER - On Saturday, May 10th, 2014 a proverbial angel on earth for 88 years left for higher ground. Those who had the privilege of knowing Jerry at any stage in his life or theirs can attest and will attest he was a very special man who always put a smile on your face. He was selfless and kind with a wonderful sense of humor and a gentle heart. His knowledge was endless and his mind was sharp. He loved to laugh and tell stories and tinker, but not necessarily in that order. His quick wit was always perfectly timed. Time. He always had time to make someone's day better, time to provide for his family, time to help, time to nap, time to care. He gave it all away without regret. He lived life humbly always putting others needs before his own. In the end, when he knew his time was running out, he used that time to think of all the people he had known in life and wish them well one last time. In true selflessness he didn't want anyone to waste their time on him as he thought it very precious. When you were around Jerry, your time was never wasted; it was worth every second. Now it is time, time to say goodbye, farewell, so long, until we meet again.

Jerry was born on December 3rd, 1925 to Mildred (York) and Augustus McKay. He grew up in Brewer and this is also where he attended school. He left high school just short of graduation to serve our country as part of the U.S. Navy in WWII aboard the USS WASP. Later in life along with being an honorable veteran he also received his honorary high school diploma which really made him happy. Once he returned home from serving, he met and married his late wife, Polly (Sproul) McKay in 1951. They settled in Brewer and were married for 59 years before she passed in October 2010. They grew together throughout the years and he was always patient with her and she with him, well, sometimes. She had quite an "endearing" pet name for him. Let's just say it's the exact opposite of what he really was. During their time together, Jerry and Polly had two sons Randy and Michael McKay. Jerry taught them both all he knew about everything and he loved his boys endlessly. He showed them how to grow up to become respectful men by his actions and by his words. Jerry was a mechanic (tinkerer) extraordinaire; he worked for Decker's Garage and New England Telephone from which he retired in 1987. His love for vehicles carried over into his home life. He owned enough of which to fill a car lot on Hogan Road, which he could name in order, from first to last, make, model and color. He also loved collecting jackets-- the man could never have enough. Once he retired Jerry spent his time enjoying the simple pleasures in life and seeing the good parts of what might have seemed like a bad day. He spent summers at Green Lake for many years making memories a plenty with his tight knit family and friends. He loved tinkering around at camp as well. For 16 short years he had a best little buddy by his side at camp (and at home) who loved to tinker too and who worshipped his Grampy in countless ways. Jerry loved his family with all his might and equally but he did have a special place in heart for his grandson Joshua who he hoped would be waiting to welcome him when he finally made it to higher ground. Jerry had much joy in his life which he shared with all that knew him. He was especially joyful when he was able to spend time with his grandchildren, Megan and Matthew-- he was very proud of them. Jerry also loved his daughters-in-law and nieces like his own and had a wonderful real bond with each of them. Jerry truly was the staple, the stitch, the glue that held his family together. They will surely miss him and will keep his memory alive happily and effortlessly. He will always be one of a kind in their book. In addition to his family, Jerry had many many many friends and acquaintances which is good because he loved to chit chat with all of them and this kept him sharp. At home Jerry had 3 friends of the four-legged variety that he cherished and with whom he also had conversations. He wasn't losing his mind, he just loved to talk. Missy, Sadie, and Buffy, his cat's, will miss him terribly as well.

Jerry's memory and stories and smile will live on thru his son Randy McKay and wife Pam of Glenburn, his son Michael McKay and wife Debbie of Holden, special friend and companion Carolyn Lainsbury of Brewer, granddaughter Megan Jones and husband, Craig of Bangor; grandson, Matthew McKay and girlfriend Sabrina of Bar Harbor, the most recent apple of his eye great-grandson, Joshua Jones; brother, David McKay of Otis; sister, Noreen Holt of Hampden; brother in-law, Bruce Sproul and wife, Rose of Brewer; nieces, Debby Faucher, Brenda Twaddell and Robin Freese and their husbands, a nephew, Shawn Sproul; an uncle Robert Jameson and a cousin, Tim Jameson along with many other relatives by blood and by choice. Jerry was predeceased by his wife Polly and his grandson, Joshua McKay. He hoped that he would once again be able to put a face to all his memories of family and friends passed.

He wanted his family and friends who remain here on earth to celebrate his life not mourn his death. For this reason there will no formal service, it just is not his style. At a later date, to be determined, a private memorial service will be held. Jerry said it himself countless times but his family would like to thank all of his caretakers over the past couple of weeks for doing what they could to keep him comfortable; he sincerely appreciated it. Please, no flowers. Those were more his wife's department. If you'd like, please contribute to the Bangor Humane Society, 693 Mount Hope Avenue, Bangor, ME in his memory, thank you. Arrangements by Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, Brewer and Bangor.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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