Memorial service for Edith MacKay, 63, of Willard, will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Baker with Bruce Ketchum officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Private burial will be held at Lame Jones Cemetery at a later date.
Our baby sister fell into internal sleep early Monday morning, August 28, 2023 at Wibaux County Nursing Home in Wibaux, MT. Our mom in heaven must have been making breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs and it was time for Edith to go home.
Edith Evelyn MacKay was born 13 minutes to midnight on Friday the 13th of May 1960 in Ekalaka, MT the youngest child of Arthur “Bud” and Mary (Collie) MacKay. Only weighing a few pounds and ounces, the doctor said her chance of survival was slim. Inflicted with Down Syndrome, Edith outweighed the percentages and brought laughter and joy to all her family. Edith was raised on her parents’ farm. Edith loved all the small farm animals and she rode horse to and from her grandparents place every morning. Tying her pony Rocket to the fence and having a mid-morning snack with Granddad Bill and Grandma MacKay. Then she would ride back home the quarter mile. After she quit riding horse, she went to riding a 3-wheeled bike and one time she took off down the road and mom only found her by following the bike tracks on the dirt road. After that, the bike was secured until someone could be with Edith after that “great” adventure. With six other siblings, there was always lots of nephews and nieces and Edith was always glad to cuddle and coo to them when they were small.
The influence our little sister put on us as a family keeps us passionate and respectful for those with lesser skills.
After her mom suffered a stroke in 2003, Edith went to live in the Fallon County Nursing Home until 2007 when she found her home at Brockway Group Home in Glendive, MT. She loved her new home, where she had routine, could do household jobs and took a protective and nurturing role towards some of her peers. She enjoyed her job crushing cans at the Day Program, but was strong-minded on chores she chose not to do. She was always happy when her siblings came to visit or to take her to visit their homes for a few days.
In 2019, a day after her birthday, Edith was life-flighted from Glendive to Billings ICU with little hope of her recovery from severe dehydration. But she slowly showed the doctors her strong will and all her vitals improved quickly and stabilized back to almost normal. Her family moved her to Friendship Villa in Miles City as she never recovered her mobility. She once again brought smiles and laughter to her care givers there. In December 2022 Friendship Villa closed and January 2023 Edith’s family moved her to Wibaux County Nursing Home in Wibaux, MT.
She was a determined individual with a very kind heart with a gentle disposition and could be quite the “firecracker” making those around her laugh and smile. She knew how to use “colorful” language (make a sailor blush), especially when she was upset about something. Edith will always be a reminder to her family and the people who knew her, to forever care for and treat the underprivileged with kindness and respect. They will bring sunshine to your heart.
Edith is survived by her sister Carol (Dolan) Dyke of Dunn Center, ND; brothers, Jimmy (Vivian) MacKay of Ekalaka, MT, John (Carolyn) MacKay of Cypress, CA, and Donald (Laurie) MacKay of Willard, MT; 14 nephews and nieces; 26 great nephews and nieces; 1 great step-nephew; 1 great step-niece; 1 great great nephew and many cousins.
She is preceded in death by her father, Bud MacKay; mother, Mary (Collie) MacKay; sisters, Mary M Ketchum, and Betty Whitney; maternal grandparents, David and Edna (Marshall) Collie; paternal grandparents, William and Marie (Honstain) MacKay, and brothers-in-law Stanley Ketchum and Lester Whitney.