Hana McKay went to be with the Lord on July 26. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, on March 2, 1928. As a teenager, she had two life goals: to become an American citizen and to become a Christian.
She was a witness to all of the bombing of Tokyo during WWII, having lived next to the First Tokyo Arsenal. After the war, the Arsenal became a US Army installation, Camp Oji. As a teenager, she worked as a waitress at the base, where she first met her future husband, PFC Peter McKay.
Hana and Pete married December 30, 1953 in Yokohama, Japan. Three of their four children, Tom, Janis and Joyce, were born in Japan. She and her family came to the United States in 1960 and lived in Texas at Fort Sam Houston, where their fourth child, Jeanette, was born. Her goal of becoming a Christian was met at this time. In 1964, she moved with her family to Fort Lee, Virginia, where she became a US Citizen, fulfilling her second goal.
Her husband’s future assignments took her to Okinawa for three years, and returned to the US, living at Fort Meade, Maryland, until her husband’s retirement from the Army in 1969. She, along with her husband and family, had become involved with a Christian ministry called the Navigators, focusing on young men and women serving in the military. This ministry led them to serve in many locations, among them: New England, Okinawa, Delaware, Japan, Oklahoma and returning to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2000.
Hana served with the Protestant Women of the Chapel for many years. She always had a love for flowers (in Japanese, Hana means flower) and shared her flower-arranging talents with churches and patients in military hospitals. She enjoyed performing Japanese dances with her group, the Cherry Blossoms, and line dancing at Modern Maturity. She loved to paint, decorate cakes, and pursue other creative arts. She is well-known and loved for sharing her many baked goodies with friends and strangers alike. She was a long-time member of league bowling and competed in the Delaware Bowling Senior Olympics; winning Gold several times in both singles and doubles events.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Peter McKay, son, Tom McKay, daughters, Janis Renz, Joyce Erickson and Jeanette Cole, sister Satoko Nohara of Tokyo, Japan, grandsons Matt McKay and Jake Erickson, granddaughters Amy Batoff, Heather Byrne, Elise DeLamatre, Sandra Renz, Laurel Erickson, Hana Cole and Libby Cole, and great-grandson, Jackson Byrne.
Her memorial service will be held on August 11 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Church, 350 McKee Road in Dover, Delaware 19904.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
The Navigators USMM, P.O. Box 6000, Colorado Springs, CO 80934 or Grace Church, 350 McKee Rd., Dover, DE 19904.