Henry Vincent McKay, Jr, 81, died surrounded by family, at home in Duquesne, PA, in the evening of September 17, 2022. He will be remembered for his rowdy sense of humor, his stubborn nature, and his generosity. With his white beard, red cheeks, jolly laughter, and giving spirit, he was often (fairly) mistaken for Santa Claus. He always gave selflessly and unconditionally of his company, his not-so-secret stash of sweets, and his lottery tickets.
Henry was born to Rose Marie Gregg and Henry Vincent McKay, Sr. on May 10, 1941. He grew up in Highland Grove, McKeesport, with his sisters Rosemary and Catherine, where he graduated from McKeesport Vocational High in 1959. He married Josephine Pellegrino on October 7, 1961. He served in the Navy aboard the USS Amphion from 1961-1963, then worked at GC Murphy in McKeesport, USS Duquesne Works, and Alling & Cory in Pittsburgh’s Northside. In retirement, he traveled with Josie to inspect slot machines in Biloxi and Las Vegas and quality checked scratch-offs when he was home. In 1997, he traded his winnings for a woodland cottage, which he named the Super 7 Lodge and his family affectionately called Pap-Pap’s camp, in Kellettville, PA, where he loved hunting, fishing, boating, watching hunting/fishing/boating on TV, collecting turkey-themed decor, and cooking with copious amounts of bacon and cheese. Pap-Pap’s camp was always a party full of family, friends, board games, zip lines, trips to the crick and the rodeo, whiskey and s’mores around the campfire, and “Pap-Pap eggs” (seasoned with Velveeta and black pepper in a cast iron skillet) in the morning. Whether he was at home in Duquesne/West Mifflin, or at camp in Kellettville, Henry enjoyed hanging out at the local watering hole, where he was a beloved fixture on the bar and had many friends.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 61 years, Josephine Pellegrino; sister Catherine Macey (Robert); daughters Lori McKay Schricker (Don Kapolka), Michele Sparks (Steven), Maureen Marchewka (Walter), and Melissa Vautier (Brian); grandchildren Lauren McKay-Wechter (Adam), Lindsay Schricker (Connor Davenport), Alexis Schricker, Christian Sparks, Gabriella Vautier, Charlotte Sparks, Madeline Vautier, and Brady Vautier; and former son-in-law Scott Schricker. Preceded in death by his sister, RoseMary Geronditis. He had many dear friends, including his friend of over 50 years, Harvey Wilner, and all the regulars of Harvey Wilner’s Village Tavern. Special thanks to the compassionate care of Dr. James Rossetti and his staff at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. The world may have lost an incredible man, but Henry’s spirit lives on in each of these lives that he touched.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, from 12-8 p.m., at the MALOY-SCHLEIFER FUNERAL HOME, INC., 915 KENNEDY AVE., DUQUESNE, 15110, 412-466-3300, WILLIAM B. SCHLEIFER, SUPERVISOR, WILLIAM BRIAN SCHLEIFER, FUNERAL DIRECTOR. Additional visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, from 10-11 a.m., followed by a Blessing Service at 11:00 a.m., with Rev. Nick Mastrangelo, officiating. Military Honors will be held at the Funeral Home following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Stanley Marks Endowed Research Fund at Hillman Cancer Center, or join the family in raising a glass of iced tea and buying a lottery ticket.
Originally published September 18, 2022.