McKay, Elizabeth Jean (nee Code) died peacefully at the Civic Hospital on September 3, 2017, surrounded by her loving family. She was 79. Jean was the beloved wife of the late William Albert McKay and will be very much missed by her children, Leslie, Elspeth and Malcolm, their spouses, Anna and James, her grandchildren, Isla and Georgia, and her many friends made near and far, most recently among the community at the Rockliffe Retirement Residence.
Jean had a long and varied career always focused on improving public welfare. She was a great advocate for tolerance who brought her values to bear as a social worker at the Rideau Correctional Institute where she helped former prisoners find their footing to re-enter society as productive citizens. She also fought for equality at the Status of Women and was a devoted environmentalist, reading voraciously on the subject and contributing to the Canadian Wildlife Federation throughout her life. She modeled her love of nature in her horticultural artistry, winning several prizes for her creative, stunning displays. She was also a consummate hostess famous for her elegant menus and their divine realization. Jean was deeply involved in her community, actively participating in all kinds of activities to build a thriving local environment.
She graced her family dinner tables with items to make people feel special, like spoons the kids used when they were little for Isla and Georgia. She implanted many values and sensibilities in those around her, not the least of which was a great love of art and beauty. Jean was a true child of the Rideau river, having been born, educated, lived and died within a few kilometres of the river (with a few overseas bouts).
A private graveside service will be held at Hillcrest Cemetery in Smith Falls. Should friends desire memorial donations to the Canadian Wildlife Federation or the Aphasia Center of Ottawa would be appreciated. Online condolences may be made at www.beechwoodottawa.ca