Ruth McKay, a longtime former trustee of the Northport-East Northport Public Library, has died.
The Eaton’s Neck resident, 82, died Oct. 3 of natural causes in her sleep, her husband, Alex McKay, said.
“She was always a feisty, sassy woman who always spoke her mind,” he said. “She was a voracious reader: Newsday, Time, current events, lots of mysteries, good stuff never junk.”
For eight years, Ruth McKay worked on the staff of former Rep. Robert Mrazak (D-Centerport).
“She liked having her voice heard and have it heard through the candidate who represented her point of view,” her husband said. “She was always active in the community, but her family was first.”
His wife served on the library board from 1981 until 2011. During her tenure she served as chairman and vice chairman.
One of her prouder accomplishments was the construction of two buildings in the library district, her husband said. Her civic activities were not limited to the library.
She served as a board member for Youth Directions and Alternatives, a nonprofit community and agency serving youths and their families in the Elwood, Harborfields and Northport/East Northport school districts, and was a volunteer at Huntington Hospital.
Ruth McKay was born Nov. 15, 1933, in Jamaica, Queens. Her family soon moved to Hempstead. After graduating from Hempstead High School, she attended Adelphi College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
In 1956, she married Alex McKay, a U.S. Coast Guardsman. The couple lived in Puerto Rico where he was stationed, then in South Huntington before finally building a home and settling in Eaton’s Neck in 1962. The couple had three children.
Her husband and their youngest son, Don McKay, director of parks and recreation for the Town of Huntington, said that her family was her pride and joy, but her legacy will extend beyond that.
“She taught us the importance of giving back to the community at an early age,” said Don McKay, of Dix Hills. “She instilled in us that it’s important to support the less fortunate and to offer a helping hand to others who are in need, something I’m teaching my children.’’
Alex and Ruth McKay celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June. On Sunday, the family will return to The View Restaurant at Crab Meadow Golf Course in Northport where the couple toasted 50 years of marriage. The family will receive guests at a celebration of her life from 1 to 4 p.m.
“She was humble and wouldn’t want a big deal,” said Don McKay. “This is a celebration where friends can come, tell some stories and reflect on her life.”
In addition to her husband and son, McKay is also survived by another son, David McKay of Alpharetta, Georgia; a daughter, Laura Ward of Rutherford, New Jersey; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.