The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

March 13, 2013

Attorney Donald R. McKay

Honored attorney served church, school, community


---- — A memorial service will be held March 30 for Attorney Donald R. McKay, a former longtime resident of Valley View Road, Hermitage. He passed away Monday, March 11, 2013, after an extended illness. He was 84.

Attorney McKay was born Nov. 29, 1928, in Sharon, a son of Judge Leo H. McKay and Ruth Ellis McKay.

A 1946 graduate of Hickory High School, Hermitage, he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1950 from Allegheny College, Meadville, and his law degree in 1953 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Philadelphia.

While attending Allegheny College, he was a letterman in football, basketball and track and a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He was a proud supporter of Allegheny College and a former member of its board of trustees.

Don began his career with the Brockway, Acker and McKay law firm in Sharon, which subsequently became Cusick, Madden, Joyce, Acker and McKay. He practiced law for nearly 60 years and most recently had his own practice in Hermitage.

Don was a founding member of Hickory United Methodist Church, Hermitage, and served the church as a lay leader, trustee and Sunday school teacher.

He was affiliated with many civic and professional associations and was instrumental in assisting Hickory Township transform from a second class township to its current home rule charter. He was a member of the former Mercer County Home Rule Charter Commission. Don was one of the founders of the Hickory Service Club, whose efforts saw Hickory evolve into a first class township in 1956, secure a post office and build a stadium.

He helped organize the Hickory High School Alumni Association, serving as its first president. He was a longtime trustee of Hickory Little League and a charter member of the Hickory Rotary Club.

Attorney McKay served as a solicitor for many local political subdivisions, including Hempfield and Coolspring townships; and Hermitage School District, for which he was recently honored as the longest-serving solicitor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was also the solicitor for Mercer County Housing Authority and Hickory Municipal Authority.

In 1981, he was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of only two attorneys in Mercer County to achieve this honor. He was a member of the disciplinary board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Don was a 50-year member of the advisory board for the Salvation Army, Sharon; and served on the board of directors for the Shenango Valley YMCA and the former McDowell National Bank.

Professionally, he was a member of the Mercer County and Pennsylvania Bar associations; the American, Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers’ associations; the Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors’ Association; and Pennsylvania Township Solicitors’ Association.

Don had a love for the outdoors and was most in his element when working on his property. He was happiest driving his tractor, building stone walls and playing with his family. He enjoyed horseback riding, tennis, boating and making creative Christmas gifts for his family in his workshop.

Surviving are: his wife, the former Martha “Marty” Van de Walle, whom he married Aug. 23, 1950, in Rochester, N.Y.; a daughter, Jean M. Campbell, wife of Richard Campbell, North Lawrence, Ohio; a son, Thomas R. McKay, husband of Candi McKay, Durham, N.C.; four grandchildren, Justin Kaszonyi, Pittsburgh; Jordan Fahr, wife of Erich Fahr, Sandusky, Ohio; Thomas J. McKay, husband of Angela McKay, Raleigh, N.C.; and Kendall McKay, Annapolis, Md.; and two great-grandsons, Jackson and Owen Fahr.

He also leaves: a sister, Margaret Hileman, wife of Attorney Charles Hileman III, Marco Island, Fla.; a brother, Dr. David A. McKay, San Francisco; a sister-in-law, Phyllis Mailman, Cleveland; a brother-in-law, the Rev. Stanley M. Bain, Hawaii; and several nieces and nephews.

He lived his life to the fullest. Adored by his entire family, he left an indelible mark on everyone; he will be deeply missed.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Attorney Ellis H. McKay; and a sister, Florence Bain.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Hickory United Methodist Church, 240 N. Hermitage Road, Hermitage, PA 16148; or Salvation Army Corps., 600 Fisher Hill St., Sharon, PA 16146.


Attorney Donald R., 84, formerly of Valley View Road, Hermitage.

Service: Memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Hickory United Methodist Church, Hermitage, with the Rev. David S. Evans, pastor, officiating.

Calling hours: Family will receive friends immediately following the service March 30 in the church parlor. Friends may e-mail condolences by visiting

Arrangements by J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon.