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Lucille Ann McKay, 95

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Lucille Ann McKay, a beacon of kindness and dedication in her community, passed away peacefully on Christmas Day, 2023, at the age of 95, in Mason City. 

Born on Aug. 17, 1928, in St. Lucas, the daughter of Alphonse and Regina (Schmitt) Hageman, Lucille’s life was a testament to her faith-filled spirit, generous heart and selfless nature.

Lucille’s educational journey began at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Waucoma, where she completed her elementary education. She graduated from Waucoma Public High School in 1946 and furthered her studies at Hamilton Business College in Mason City. Lucille’s academic pursuits laid the foundation for a career that would be marked by diligence and a strong work ethic.

On June 14, 1948, Lucille’s life was forever changed when she married the love of her life, John “Jack” McKay, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waucoma. The couple settled in Waucoma, where they would share a lifetime of love and partnership. 

Lucille began her professional life at Lynch Grocery and later honed her financial skills as a teller at the Waucoma Bank. Her career took a pivotal turn when she and Jack took ownership of the family grocery store in Waucoma. For years, Lucille was the heartbeat of McKay’s Grocery store, managing its day-to-day operations with expertise and unflagging commitment. She was not just a businesswoman but a surrogate mother to the local children who frequented the store, earning their affection and respect.

Lucille’s impact on the community extended well beyond her professional endeavors. She was a cherished member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 66 years and a charter member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas for 60 years, contributing her time and talents to these organizations’ missions. 

An acitve member in the Jolly Old Timers Club, a local Waucoma group of retirees who supported one another and the community, especially through the local ball diamond, organizing ball tournaments for young and old alike. 

Lucille also implemented the long-standing tradition of annual craft shows that helped recognize area talents and would provide income and a social event to the community. Today that tradition continues. Her vibrant activism and willingness to serve others will be missed.

An avid crafter, Lucille found joy in embroidery and creating beautiful crafts. Her patience and attention to detail were evident in her love for jigsaw puzzles. Lucille’s fondness for animals, especially her housecats, highlighted her compassionate nature, as she provided a loving home to many feline companions over the years.

Those who knew Lucille will remember her as a kind and gentle soul, always ready with a good-natured laugh. Her sense of humor and warm presence brought light and levity to those around her. Lucille’s legacy is one of unwavering service, boundless generosity, and a deep faith that guided her every step.

Lucille Ann McKay leaves behind a community richer for her contributions and a world brighter for her presence. Her memory will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to know her, and her spirit will live on in the countless lives she touched. Lucille’s departure is not an end but a celebration of a life well-lived and a journey well-traveled, marked by the love she shared and the good she accomplished. She will be dearly missed.

Lucille is survived by three nieces, Kathy Hentges of Mason City, Nancy (Ron) Knight of San Angelo, Texas, and Shelly (Paul) Hughes of Steamboat Springs, Colorado; three great-nieces and one great-nephew; cousin, Alfred (Arlene) Schmitt of Waucoma; and special friend, Marcia (David) Wenthold of Waucoma. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John in 1987; one brother-in-law, Bill McKay; and two sisters-in-law, Betty (Elroy “Whimpy”) Hentges and Grace (Ty) Hill.

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