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Obituary (CA): Jay Gillis McKie '47

Posted on 04/26/2018

Jay Gillis McKie  (September 21, 1924 - April 18, 2018)

An officer and a gentleman who deeply loved his wife and three “girls,” Jay Gillis McKie died peacefully in his sleep on April 18, 2018, at his Covington apartment in Aliso Viejo, CA.

Jay was born in Pasadena, CA on September 21, 1924, to Charles Frederick McKie and Della Moore McKie and grew up in Redondo Beach, CA where he graduated from Redondo Beach High School. He attended Stanford University for one year, lettering on the varsity baseball team. He then went to the United States Naval Academy, played varsity football and baseball, lettered in baseball all three years, captained the baseball team his last year, and graduated as an ensign, specializing in submarines, in 1946.

Jay met his future wife, Virginia Jones, on December 31, 1949 at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. After announcing to his sub captain, “This is the girl I’m going to marry,” Jay proposed to Virginia in November 1950; and they were married on April 14, 1951. They had three daughters in 1952, 1956, and 1958. Toward the end of his 10-year naval career, Jay was a Company Officer in the Executive Department at the U. S. Naval Academy while also acting as head plebe baseball coach and assistant plebe football coach. After retiring from the Navy, he went to work for the Massachusetts division of Texas Instruments and ultimately moved to Dallas in 1960, working at the Texas Instruments headquarters. In 1962 Jay joined AirBorn Inc. as general manager and became president and CEO in 1964. After a highly successful career at AirBorn, he retired in 1996 and remained chairman of the board until 2013.

Fiercely protective of his daughters, Jay was always willing to share his wisdom with them and his mentorship to those around him. He will always be remembered for his infectious laugh and wonderful sense of humor. An excerpt from an anonymous poem, “Remember Me,” has special meaning to us:

So as you stand upon a shore,
gazing at a beautiful sea—remember me.
Remember me in your heart,
your thoughts, your memories of the times we loved.
The times we cried, the times we fought,
the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me,
I will never be gone.

Rest in peace, Daddy or Pop, and Pop-Pop to his grandchildren. You are now with Mom.

Jay is survived by his three daughters - Ann Stuart Kling, Betsy King, and Jane McKie - and by six grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his brothers, Mark U. McKie and John M. McKie. His ashes will be buried in Norfolk, VA beside his wife of 58 years and in his beloved Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland. Memorial contributions may be made to Stanford University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and The Covington.

McCormick & Son Mortuaries
25002 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92637
Telephone: (949) 768-0933