Cover photo for Benjamin "Ben" McKay's Obituary
Benjamin "Ben" McKay Profile Photo

Benjamin "Ben" McKay

December 5, 1926 — May 6, 2023

Orlando, FL

Benjamin "Ben" McKay


Benjamin (Ben) Wyatt McKay Jr., 96, passed away on May 6, 2023, in Orlando, FL.

Ben was born on December 5, 1926 in Brookfield, OH, to Benjamin Wyatt McKay Sr. and Marian Elizabeth Karcher McKay. Ben had 2 younger sisters, Claire and Jeanne. Growing up, Ben studied music and became quite the child prodigy. He even wrote his own original 14-piece symphony, which will be played at his Memorial Service. At age 4, Ben took his first streetcar ride, inspiring a lifetime love of trains, trolleys, and all forms of public transportation. 

Ben graduated from Antioch College with a degree in Civil Engineering, and started his career as a Traffic Engineer for the city of Dayton, Ohio. It was in Dayton where he was introduced to the Unitarian church. He immediately connected with their ideals of welcoming people of all races, ethnicities, religious beliefs, genders and sexual orientations, and so he joined and became active in their many causes. Ben met Dolores (Dolly) Ketchum at that church, and they married on November 3, 1956, and later moved to Cincinnati to raise their family. The couple had 3 children: Marsha McKay (deceased) of Poolesville, MD; Lisa Simon, of Holland, OH; and Sheila McKay, of Aurora, CO.

Ben worked most of his career for the city of Cincinnati as their City Traffic Engineer. Over the years, he was active in church choir, several model railroading clubs, and Traffic Engineering organizations. Ben also served briefly in the United States Navy. Upon retiring, Ben and Dolly moved to Orlando, Florida, where they resided near their beloved Lake Eola. He also dearly loved and spent much time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as his church family, and many, many friends. 

Ben is survived by Lisa and Bob Simon of Holland, OH; Sheila McKay and Michael Hayes of Aurora, CO; Dennis Woods (son-in-law) of Poolesville MD; Eric Woods (grandson) and Judy Chung of Los Angeles, CA; Brad (grandson) and Madhavi Simon of Holland, OH; Katie (granddaughter) and Brent Reinick of Thornton, CO; Jen Simon (granddaughter) and Jeff Bye of Toledo, OH; great grandchildren Wyatt Simon, Bodhi Reinick, and Maren Reinick; sister Jeanne (Muffy) Paradise; David Paradise (nephew); Peter (nephew) and Aria Paradise Michaels; sister Claire (Jean) Cameron; and niece Paula and Steve Sassano. 

Ben is preceded in death by Benjamin McKay Sr - father, Marian McKay - mother, Dolores McKay - spouse, Marsha McKay - daughter.

The Memorial Service for Ben will be held at First Unitarian Church of Orlando, on Saturday, July 1st at 3 pm, with a reception immediately following in the adjoining Gore Hall. He will be laid to rest in Spring Grove Cemetery, in Cincinnati, OH at a later date to be determined.


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