November 30, 1949
July 31, 2023
John, aged 73, peacefully passed away on July 31st after a long illness. He is survived by his two sons, Jordan (Jennifer) and Joel (Debra), his grandchildren, Michael, William, Rose, and Ava, his sister Betty Scott (Dan), nephews Andrew and Jeff, and numerous friends and relatives. Born on November 30, 1949, in Quebec City, QC to William and Marguerite McKay, John moved to Sept Isle QC in 1953 before settling in Montreal for nine years. During his childhood, he formed lasting friendships and developed a passion for scuba diving. His family’s pool became a place where the neighborhood kids gathered, resulting in countless memorable stories.
In 1965, the McKay family relocated to St. James, Winnipeg, where John completed his high school education, pursued university studies, and discovered an interest in martial arts. He trained at the Shotokan Karate Dojo in Winnipeg, forging new connections within the martial arts community and achieving a black belt in Karate. Inspired by his experiences, he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. Joining the RCMP in 1973, he devoted seven years to serving his country. It was during this time that he met Nancy Kennedy, whom he married in 1978. Together, they built a family and welcomed their sons, Jordan and Joel, into the world.
In 1981, John returned to Winnipeg to assist his father with the Colville Marina project and joined the Winnipeg Police Service. After three years, he relocated his family to Vancouver, where he became a member of the Vancouver Police Service in 1984. Throughout his career, which lasted until his retirement in 2009, John found fulfillment in his work as a police officer, from patrolling the streets to leading an Emergency Response Team. Known for his engaging sense of humor, he shared countless entertaining stories with friends and colleagues. Despite living in a different city, John maintained a close relationship with his sons and frequently expressed his pride in their accomplishments. Speaking about his grandchildren always brought a smile to his face, and he made every effort to spend time with them until his health began to decline.
The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Whitecliff and Peace Arch Hospital for the exceptional care and kindness shown to John over the past year. They also appreciate the support and well-wishes from the many friends who reached out during his final months. Furthermore, special thanks go to John’s friends Max, Ian, and Bruce for their unwavering presence and to Nancy, his medical liaison, and Judy, his constant companion in his last months. As John’s shift comes to an end, may he rest peacefully. A celebration of his life will be held on October 28th, 2023, at Broadway United Church in Vancouver at 2:00 p.m.