Gordon Harold McKay 1939 - 2021

Gordon Harold McKay died January 14, 2021, two days shy of his 82nd birthday, at home in Falls Church, Virginia, after an extended battle with prostate cancer. He was born in Bottineau, North Dakota, and moved at age seven to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. He attended public schools in McMinnville, and then nearby Linfield College to study Political Science and Economics. After graduation, he was awarded a grant to The Maxwell School at Syracuse University, attaining a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He later attended a one-year program at Princeton University before residing in Garrett Park, Maryland, from 1971 to 1985.

A husband of 60 years and father of four, Gordon was a dedicated family man, later becoming an enthusiastic grandfather. He was a confident handyman, enjoyed reading and traveling, and was happiest when working in the yard while listening to a ballgame on the radio. He translated his personal concern for others into a lengthy career with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from before the agency was fully formed, working with the Community Development Block Grant program to improve living conditions across the nation. His work prompted five cross-country moves before settling on the East Coast and retiring in 1997. He worked several years after retirement as a consultant on fair housing and, later, on the abatement of lead paint, a cause of brain damage in children.

Gordon is survived by his wife, Linda; sons, Michael of Mukilteo, Washington, and Steven of Des Moines, Iowa; daughter, Megan; son-in-law, Jason; and grandsons, Henry and Colin Wakeman of Fairfax, Virginia; also brother, Floyd of Bellingham; and sister, Margie of Bellevue, Washington. He was predeceased by his daughter, Kristen, to whom he was devoted; parents, Harold and Maude McKay; and sister, Mary McKay Rockwood. A local memorial will be scheduled when safety guidelines permit, and interment will be in McMinnville. If desired, donations may be directed to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org/involved/donate.


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