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Dr. John Mackay

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Dr. John Agret Mackay

November 29, 1928 - September 6, 2020

Obituary

 

John “Mac” Agret Mackay passed quietly from this life to the next on Sunday, September 6, 2020 at Mountain Lakes, Nelson, BC. He was peaceful and surrounded by family and love.

 

Mac lived nearly 92 remarkable years. He was born in Montreal, November 29, 1928 to Dr. Agret Albert and Florence Marie (Bruneau) Mackay. His father was the team physician for the Montreal Canadiens. He and his brother Robin, grew up in Westmount and enjoyed summers at Lake Commandant.

 

He met the love of his life, Nancy Weaver while at McGill University. The day after his last Medical School exam, he married his sweetheart, May 16, 1953. He then interned for a year in Detroit, Michigan prior to moving to Fruitvale BC, in 1954 where he served as the Village Doctor. John practiced family medicine in the Beaver Valley for several years, taking two time-outs for post-graduate studies in Internal Medicine – 2 years at the Lahey Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, and 2 years at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland.

 

In 1964, John gained his certification in Internal Medicine and returned to practice in Fruitvale. He practiced Internal Medicine at the Trail Regional Hospital where he and Dr. Harvey Muth established the Renal Unit in 1972. Mac retired in 1991. At this time, John and Nancy moved to Longbeach, near Balfour. In 2012 John and Nancy moved to Nelson, first to High Street Place, then to Lakeview Village and finally to Mountain Lake Senior Community, retaining the family home at “the lake”.

 

Mac was a man of faith, ideas, passion and action. It is said that “beyond giving a man a fish to eat, or teaching him to fish, we need to give him a fishing rod”. Mac gave many “fishing rods” in his nearly 92 years. He believed in the innate good in people and was humbled to be named Citizen of the Year in Fruitvale in 1988 in recognition of his active participation and outstanding community service in the growth of the Beaver Valley; and again, Citizen of the Year in Nelson in 2008.

 

He enthusiastically participated in the development of the Beaver Valley Ski Hill, many community projects, the advocacy for and development of the Fruitvale Sewage Treatment plant (affectionately known as “Mackay Lake”), the Trail Renal Unit pioneering dialysis locally, active in the SOS (Save Our Services) movement and advocacy for Kootenay Lake Hospital.

 

Mac was a philosopher, a golfer, a skier, a fisherman, an avid reader, and an active member of the Anglican Church. He cherished sunsets and nature and had many joyful adventures hiking and canoeing with family and friends. (Broken Islands, Bowron Lakes, West Coast Trail, Chilkoot Trail to name a few).

 

He had a great sense of humour and was a relentless punster – so many one liners are floating in the air as we recall his ready wit. A curious lifelong learner, Mac and Nancy enjoyed Learning in Retirement courses and new discoveries. Friends and former patients remember Mac as kind, gentle and generous, a man who took the time needed to listen and to support people to feel special and valued.

 

Every Thursday evening in Fruitvale and every Friday noon in Nelson found him at the piano to play “Oh Canada” for local Rotary club meetings. Mac enjoyed travel and volunteering with Rotary International. Mac was one of the founding members of the Market Children Program in the Kootenay Region. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and in 2019 he and Nancy received lifetime Rotary Memberships.

 

And then there’s music. Mac was a compulsive harmonica player, carrying one in his pocket at all times. He played piano with a brilliant touch. He helped start the Second Winds Music Group, and was in demand as a pianist on many occasions. John, Nancy and daughter Jane attended Fiddle Camp for 7 years in a row, accompanying lilting tunes with enthusiasm. He was a valued member of the Mountain Lake House Band, shifting between piano and harmonica and often called to play at singalongs and concerts.

 

Mac is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Nancy, his daughter Jane (Andrew) and son Duncan (Tracey), 8 Grandchildren (Michael, Ian, Kieran, Annika, Charlie, Chelsea, Darin, Brent), 7 Great Grandchildren, extended family and countless friends.

 

Mac will be greeted in the next life by his parents, son Ian (1977), brother Robin (2018), many dear friends, and dogs Happy, Nell, Beaver, Boomer, Cindy, Ginger, Dinah.

 

Mindful of safety and COVID protocols at this time, a small family service will be held (and recorded) to celebrate Mac’s life. Cremation, and at a future date, interment in the Fruitvale Cemetery.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made payable to The Rotary Foundation, and mailed to: Rotary Club of Nelson, Mackay Memorial, P.O. Box 374, Nelson, B.C.  V1L 5R2

We are so grateful to the team at Thompson Funeral Home and to the staff at Mountain Lake and to Dr. Trevor Janz for their compassion, care and kindness, especially in these pandemic times.

 

Mac always offered the “grace notes” to life, the little things. Dr. Mac was well-lived and well-loved – his smiling presence and kindness will be missed and will live on whenever we think of him.

Condolences

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Pages: 123

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Shirley Tennant
Relation: Dr. Mackay was my Dad's doctor - Our family thought the world of him.

Dear family of Dr. Mackay, His absence hurts.
But the relationships that are his legacy heal. My deepest sympathy.

From: Frances and Lorne Nicolson
Relation: As co-members of the Nelson Rotary Club

Our deepest condolences to Nancy and the family. Children of Tegucigalpa will also mourn his passing. His work with the H.E.L.P. Honduras association allowed many of the poorest of a poor country to attend school instead of being forced to labour or prostitution.
He was so self-effacing, it was difficult not to love him. We will miss his face, his soft voice and his music at Rotary meetings and at the Capitol Theatre.
Rest in Peace, John. Your life has been filled with honor.

From: Cinda Reid
Relation: From church

MAC was one of the kindest men I know. Blessings to Nancy and family.

From: Wendy Mackay
Relation: Mac was my uncle

Uncle Mac was my dad’s brother, and I remember how we cousins used to talk about ‘Uncle Daddy’ and ‘Daddy Uncle’ to refer to the pair of them. Mac was, of course, an extremely accomplished doctor, but I remember him best as my truly warm and kind uncle, who shared my father’s sense of humour, and was always impressing us with his musical prowess. He will be greatly missed. My love to all the family.

From: Marc conacher
Relation: He was our family doctor

Dr Mackay was our family doctor when we were kids. RIP

From: Mariette Knudsgaard
Relation: I grew up in Fruitvale.

Dear Jane and Andrew. I was saddened to hear of your dad’s passing. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. Mariette Knudsgaard.

From: Jack E. LaRocque
Relation: long-time friend

Dear Nancy, Jane, Duncan and Families…
Having first met Dr. John Mackay when I was about ten, I’ve known and loved him for most of my Life…. We had adventures galore, on “the” Ski Hill, and a few others, working toward its completion, and its operation… Schweitzer, once, Hiking, just laughing together, lots….
I was proud to call him “friend”, and I loved seeing him with his Sweet Wife Nancy… I didn’t see him much after he moved to the Lake, but I fondly recall the Summer I helped Karl Monk build the Cabin, camping weekends at the Campground…
I could regale you with humourous stories for an hour, but I’ll let you share your time and stories, for now… You need time to deal with this sad loss…. My love to you includes all of my living Family, and we’ll miss him….
Jack E. LaRocque (little Jack), and wife Elaine (Dahl)

From: Brenda Spence
Relation: Family doctor

Nancy, Jane and Duncan: I was so saddened to read of your father’s death. He was a kind and gentle man who lived a full and happy life. I remember him carolling in Fruitvale, and popping in to play the carols on our piano. Always smiling. My condolences to you all.

From: Cathy Potkins
Relation: Instructor

Mac always came to class with a smile on his face and brought a smile to everyone elses. I will very much miss him.

Pages: 123

Service Schedule

  Service Date To Be Determined

Date & Time:
To Be Determined

Mindful of safety and COVID protocols at this time, a small family service will be held (and recorded) to celebrate Mac’s life. Cremation, and at a future date, interment in the Fruitvale Cemetery.

Memorial Gifts

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made payable to The Rotary Foundation, and mailed to: Rotary Club of Nelson, Mackay Memorial, P.O. Box 374, Nelson, B.C.  V1L 5R2

Thank You Notice

We are so grateful to the team at Thompson Funeral Home and to the staff at Mountain Lakes and to Dr. Trevor Janz for their compassion, care and kindness, especially in these pandemic times.

Send Flowers

default-floralFloral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier. Please have the name of the deceased, the funeral date, the address and phone number of the delivery location for handy reference:

BELLAFLORA STUDIO
621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592
http://www.bellaflorastudio.com

GEORAMA GROWERS
2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797
https://www.georamagrowers.com/

POSIES
Flowers & Yoga Studio
513 A  Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B4
(250) 505-5222
https://www.posiesnelson.com/

 

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