John W. MacKay, 95, of Phoenix died July 15, 2018. John formerly resided in Snowflake; Delphi, Indiana; and Lafayette, Ind.
John was born June 1, 1923, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to Violet Macpherson MacKay and James Roy MacKay. He grew up in Saskatoon, graduating in 1944 from the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon with a B.E. in physical engineering, served in the Canadian Navy as a radar technician toward the end of WWII, then worked for a year at the Ottawa Research Facility studying the effects of radiation in semi-conductors, before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He received first an M.S. and then a Ph.D (in 1953) in Solid State Physics from Purdue. John worked as a professor of Physics at Purdue from 1953-1988, where he taught, did research and also worked in administration.
On Aug. 14, 1948, he married Eileen Hoshaw. They lived in Lafayette, Ind. until he retired in 1988, when they moved to a farm outside of Delphi, Ind. In 2004, the family sold the farm and moved to Snowflake. Eileen passed away in 2006 in Snowflake.
Their four children survive them: daughter Susan MacKay of Snowflake; and three sons, James MacKay (Jenice) of Madison, Wis.; Jack MacKay (Pamela) of Phoenix; and Scott MacKay (Patricia, deceased) of Austin, Texas. They are also survived by seven grandchildren: Weston MacKay (Courtnee), Kristin MacKay Brewer (Andy), Sarah MacKay, Evelyn MacKay, Boomer MacKay, Forrest MacKay, Veronica MacKay; and three great-grandchildren: Carter Brewer, Callen MacKay, and Emery MacKay.
John was both an academic researcher and a lifelong do-it-yourselfer, interested in the ways that practical applications of new ideas could make daily life easier, more comfortable and more interesting for everyone around him. It was important to him to live independently and in control of his own affairs and he achieved this goal, with some help from his children, until the final days of his life. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
His body was cremated, ashes will be spread at a memorial gathering at a later date.