Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Emelyn Swan McKay

Emelyn Swan McKay, 97, passed away peacefully on January 1, 2024 at her home in Shelton, Washington.

Emi was born on February 15, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the youngest of five children. She grew up in the Wynnewood house with her parents Ann Josephine d'Invilliers and George Whitfield Butts III (Major Butts in the Engineering Corp in WWI), brother George IV, sisters Louise (Sissy), Ann (Dubby) and Elizabeth (Coo), all deceased. She was Aunt Kiki to all of their children.

Emi was privately tutored until the age of nine, then attended Mt. Aloysius Academy, a convent boarding school in Altoona, PA, later becoming Mt. Aloysius College in Cresson, PA. Also at the Academy while she was there were her sister Coo, Sr. Camille Marie (their Aunt Marie), a Carmelite nun, and Rev. Dr. Joseph d'Invilliers (their Uncle Joe), a Jesuit priest. She then attended the University of Philadelphia, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Music in 1946, at the age of 20.

In 1948, Emi married Richard Merrifield and three children followed: Richard M. Merrifield, Christopher E. Merrifield (Swan) and Allyson P. Merrifield (Swan). Emi and Dick moved to Malibu, California and built their dream home. In 1965, Emi married Edwin Swan and moved to Lakewood, Washington. Two children followed: Kelly L. Swan (Gallagher) and David Swan, who died at birth. Later they moved to Fircrest, Ketron Island, Lake Cushman, and Shelton, Washington. In 2007, Emi married Eugene McKay, moved to University Place, Washington, and they had five happy years together. She then moved back to Shelton and devoted herself to God and the Catholic Church.

Emi's work career was teaching music and piano lessons, and also teaching elementary school, but she felt it was most important to be home with her children.

Emi was a very talented lady. She was a pianist, a published writer and poet, and an amazing quilter, stitching every quilt by hand. But most important to her was her Catholic faith. She was a contributing member of Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church, St. Frances Cabrini and St. John Bosco in Lakewood, St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma, and St. Edward's Catholic Church in Shelton. She derived much joy as a Eucharist minister, taking Holy Communion to homebound people, and belonging to the Mustard Seeds of St. Edward's.

Emi is survived by her four children. She is also survived by her seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren, all of whom call her Moo.

"God bless you, pleasant dreams, Mom/Moo. We love you!"

There will be a rosary at 10:30 a.m. prior to the memorial service for Emi on Friday, February 16, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Edward's Catholic Church, located at 601 W "C" Street, Shelton, Washington.


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