Virginia Elise McKay Profile Photo
1938 Virginia 2023

Virginia Elise McKay

June 11, 1938 — October 9, 2023



Virginia Elise McKay went home to be with the Lord on October 9, 2023.  She was 85 years old.  She was known by her friends and most family as “Lee”. 

Lee was born in Blytheville, Arkansas in June 1938, and was the middle of three children and only daughter of John and Evelyn Anderson (formerly Emery).  She was the last surviving family member having outlived both her older brother Paul, and younger brother, Kenneth. 

The family moved to California in the early 40’s to find work when cotton farming just wasn’t sufficient to support the family.  They eventually settled in Dinuba, a small town in the heart of California’s agricultural capital known as the Central Valley.  She graduated from Dinuba High School in 1956 and was married to Ernest “Rolan” McKay of Fresno in 1959. 

Lee had an adventurous spirit and was always ready to try something new and consider the unconventional.  She loved her family, especially time spent with her grandchildren.  Whether baking a cake, making one of her special home-cooked meals, playing a game or enjoying a trip to the movies, the mall, the mountains or the coast, she was always ready to go if it meant getting out with family or friends.

Lee also enjoyed working and her career spanned several types of work.  She served as Office Manager for the Pediatric Medical Group of Fresno for 10 years.  She later discovered her love for sales and found great satisfaction working with Mary Kay Cosmetics and helping hundreds of other women learn about good skin care and makeup techniques.  Later in life she pursued her passion for writing and became a staff reporter for the Madera Tribune. 

Entering retirement, she and Rolan spent some time traveling the country in their 5th wheel trailer before dedicating their time to service with the Hard Hats for Christ organization.  Over the next 10 years, they moved their 5th wheel up and down the northwest to volunteer their labor in construction of church and related facilities in small communities where construction funds were limited.  Having met so many new friends in their Hard Hats service, they left California for Washington where they settled in Longview. 

She loved the Lord and even as her health declined over the past few years, she continued to talk about her faith with others.  She was known for offering a word of encouragement to others and asking how she could pray for them. 

Lee is survived by Rolan, her husband of 64 years, her son Russell and his wife Caroline, of Thousand Oaks, CA, her grandson Nathan of Grand Canyon, AZ, her granddaughter Hannah of San Diego, CA, and 3 step-grandchildren – Jacy & Michael Crowley of Boston, MA, Remy Bessolo of Los Angeles, CA, Luke & Amber Bessolo of Fortson, GA, and a step-great granddaughter, Eleanor Bessolo. 

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on November 11, 2023, at Three Rivers Bible Church in Kelso, WA.

Memorial contributions may be made to either:

Three Rivers Bible Church

102 Harris Street, Kelso, WA 98626


Hard Hats for Christ -

PO Box 356

Krum, TX 76249

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