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Donald Foster MCKAY

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Donnie McKay on April 8, 2023. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family, at the age of 81 after a four-year struggle with cancer. Donnie was born and raised in the northern Ontario town of Atikokan. There, he developed his taste for adventure, enjoying hunting and fishing with his friends after school and working his own trapline.

In 1959 at age 18 he enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces, joining the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. During his time with the PPCLI he saw active duty with several peace-keeping postings overseas in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. He served as a member of the United Nations Peace-keeping Forces that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. Over the years he was posted with his family to armed forces bases in every province. Throughout his time in the Infantry, he was committed to sports as more than a casual participant. In 1959 he won the BC Golden Gloves Welterweight Division, and in 1962 was crowned as Army Middleweight Champ. He re-mustered into the PERI trade (Physical Education and Recreation Instructor), a career change that suited his athletic interests and abilities. He conducted fitness training and testing for the troops; coached track and field, swim clubs, hockey teams and organized tournaments. In the last part of his military career, he was seconded to the Navy and was based at CFB Esquimalt. He was active in the Canadian Forces Sailing Association.

After leaving military life in 1989 he started a second career as a Correctional Officer at William Head Institution on Vancouver Island for 15 years. It was a position which gave him much job satisfaction. He did not retire until he was 73 years old.

Donnie is predeceased by his parents Clyde and Harriet McKay and his sister Donna Jean (Danyleyko). He is survived by his wife, Carol (Toal), daughter Elisa (Webb); son Matthew (Liz) McKay; stepdaughter Marieke (Tyrone Maguire); and nine grandchildren. After retiring Donnie enjoyed travelling, golfing, reading, following world news and current affairs, and spending time with family and friends.

To know Donnie was to love him, he was truly one of a kind; a great story-teller with an irrepressible sense of humor, fun-loving, and thoughtful. He will be truly missed.

Thank you to the staff at the Veterans Health Centre at Broadmead Memorial Lodge for providing Donnie with a warm and loving outlet for socializing, laughter and comradery in his last years.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Donnie on Saturday, May 13th at 2 - 5 pm at the Chief and Petty Officers Mess at 1575 Lyall Street, CFB Esquimalt.

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Apr 28, 2023

A true gentleman and amiable individual who worked hard and always had kind tings to say. I knew Donny in Esquimalt and am saddened by his leaving the PERI Family . Our condolences to his Family. Hope the Memories he left behind will give them comfort. The thing with PERI’s , is that they will share stories of their time in the trade to any audience that, leave people laughing, or shaking their heads. Rest well Donny, you are missed like so many others.Ian & Chris Whitecross.

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