Dr. Malcolm Horneck McKay was born at the Public General Hospital in Chatham on the 29th of April, 1930. He was the eldest of 2 children born to Malcolm McKay and the former Hazel Belle Horneck. His father was a plumber and his sister’s name was Ann Elizabeth McKay (born in 1932). Dr. McKay received his elementary schooling at the Central Public School in Chatham and he attended Chatham Collegiate Institute for high school.
Dr. McKay graduated from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1954. He then completed a two year internship in family medicine at the Hamilton General Hospital.
In 1955, Dr. McKay married Chatham native Elizabeth Ann “Beth” Reynolds, whom he had met in kindergarten. Mrs. McKay graduated from The University of Western Ontario and the Ontario College of Education. Her parents were Roy Sidney Reynolds and the former Dorothy Margaret Jane Birch. Her father was a Manager at the Public Works Department in the City of Chatham and she had 3 brothers; Robert, William and Barrie.
After their marriage Dr. and Mrs. McKay decided to return to their hometown in 1956. That same year, Dr. McKay joined the medical practice of Dr. John Carlyle MacWilliam, which was located at 44 Third Street. He remained at this medical practice until his retirement in 1998.
In addition to his career as a family practitioner Dr. McKay also served as the Medical Director of the Kent County Children’s Treatment Centre from 1956 to 1960. Dr. McKay served as the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of both the Public General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. Furthermore, he was the Chairman of the Chatham Board of Education for an eight year period, beginning around 1958.
In the late 1960’s Dr. McKay sat on a committee of 19 people, including Dr. John Robert Holmes, that was presenting information to the Province of Ontario attempting to have a college built in Chatham. The committee was successful and St. Clair College opened its doors in 1972.
Dr. and Mrs. McKay were residing at 542 King Street West in 1974. For his community service and dedication to the medical profession, Dr. McKay was awarded the Glen Sawyer Service Award in 1999. He also received the Order of Huron Award in 1989, which is presented to those individuals who show commitment to their local Anglican Church.
In his spare time, Dr. McKay’s interests were: reading, playing bridge, travelling, and music – in particular, jazz. Dr. McKay enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his family. He had four children, Rob (married to JoAnn Patterson), Ian, Anne (married to Tim Taylor), and Judy (married to Darren Gross) who as he liked to state are all “employed and paying taxes.” Dr. McKay also had eight grandchildren: Jill, Taylor, Eric, Cam, Andrea, Julia, Sydney, and Matthew.
Dr. McKay passed away on September 19, 2001.
*Dr. John Carlyle MacWilliam and Dr. John Robert Holmes also appear on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.