Geraldine “Gerre” Zeller McKay, 97, passed away peacefully December 11, 2018. She was a resident of the Overland Park Place retirement community for the past 11 years. She was born on March 17, 1921, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She married Marvin Mickler in 1942 who died serving in WWII. She married John McKay in 1946. He worked with GMC Truck Division and during their 52-year marriage they lived in Pontiac, Michigan; Brentwood, Missouri; Vincennes, Indiana; and Rolla, Missouri. The early years of marriage were busy raising 5 children with her husband, John who traveled a lot with his job.
During the years in Vincennes, Gerre worked part-time at the Vincennes University, and headed the United Way Fund for two years. She served as president of Beta Sigma Phi sorority and was voted Indiana State Girl of the Year.
Gerre was a resident of Rolla, Missouri, for 38 years before moving to Overland Park, KS, in 2007. While living in Rolla, she was an administrative secretary at UMR for 16 years. Gerre was very active in her church, sorority and civic organizations, and had many special friends there. She served as president for the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and was awarded the Missouri State Auxilian of the Year. She also was president of the GFWC Saturday Club, Who’s New in Rolla, the AARP Rolla chapter, and Presbyterian Church Women United.
Gerre was devoted to her family, and she had amazing energy. She was strong, independent, fun-loving and thoughtful. She cared deeply for other people and their needs and was so generous with her time and money. When her husband, John, had Parkinsons, she made two trips daily to the St. James Veterans Home to lovingly care for him. Her faith in Christ always guided her through her years.
Gerre loved playing bridge, Scrabble and any type of card game, especially with the grandkids! When not traveling to visit her grandchildren, she made time for travel to Alaska, Europe, the Holy Land, Russia, and Canada and took several cruises. After moving to Overland Park Place, a perfect place for her, she stayed active by serving as an ambassador to new residents. She never missed a bingo game or activity, and sang in the choir. She even sang a solo, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” in a holiday concert a week before she passed away.
Gerre was preceded in death by her two husbands, and her son, Christopher McKay. Her surviving family includes sons Marvin McKay of Riverview, FL; Steven McKay and his wife, Suzanne, of Lee’s Summit, MO; Tim McKay and his wife, Valerie, of Leawood, KS; her daughter-in-law, Nancy McKay, of Overland Park, KS; and daughter Joan Melvin and husband, John, of Overland Park, KS.
She was a loving and generous grandma to 12 grandchildren: Eric McKay (Amanda), Andy (Amy) McKay, Emily McKay, Graham (Susie) McKay, Drew (Alicia) McKay, Ian McKay, Evan McKay (Eric Garcia), Lauren McKay, Lindsey (Mike) Garcia, Jessica Melvin, Chris Melvin, and Jack Melvin, and two great-grandchildren, Emerson and Kinsley McKay.
Gerre was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church in Rolla and helped establish its Memorial Garden. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Kansas City Down Syndrome Guild (kcdsg.org) in honor of Gerre’s grandson, Jack Melvin, or the Rolla First Presbyterian Church Memorial Garden Fund. A celebration of Gerre’s life will be held at the Overland Park Place in January.