Sedley Vecas McKayOctober 31, 1925 ~ September 5, 2017 (age 91)
Sedley Vecas McKay, 91, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, after a long illness.
He was born in October 1925 in the town of Tangle River in St. James Parish, Jamaica, to Wilhelmina "Mimi" McKay and Peter Samuel McKay. He was the youngest of their children. All preceded Sedley in death: Lerlene, Caroline, Adlyn, Edna, Daniel, Helene, Daisy, Rachael, William, and Lucy.
As a teenager, Sedley completed his education at Knockalva Agricultural School in Ramble, Jamaica.
Sedley emigrated to the United States in 1947, following in the footsteps of several relatives who had done the same in search of greater opportunity. He was sponsored by his Aunt Rachel “Agee” Blackellar, who had a successful business as a shirtmaker and seamstress in New York’s historic Harlem neighborhood.
Sedley was drafted into the Army in 1950. He served in the motor pool and was honorably discharged in 1952 with the rank of private.
While in the Army, Sedley married his first wife, Amabel. They had four children – Ian, Colin, David, and Patricia. David and Colin preceded Sedley in death due to complications of sickle-cell anemia.
He proudly became a U.S. citizen on Aug. 20, 1953.
In 1959, he went to work as a bus driver for New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority. He worked almost 30 years out of Brooklyn’s Flatbush depot, advancing to the position of surface line dispatcher. His peers affectionately gave him the nickname “Mack,” which he gladly carried as a badge of honor.
In 1971, Sedley married the former Gabrielle Esposito, who survives him. They soon after bought a home in Flatbush and had two children, Peter Andrew and Lou-Ann.
In 1987, after Sedley had retired from the MTA, the family moved to Orange Park, Florida. In retirement, Sedley returned to his passion for agriculture, cultivating various fruit trees and landscaping features around his home. He returned often to Jamaica and New York to visit old friends. He enjoyed the company of his five grandchildren. And he adopted many neighbors’ and friends’ children and grandchildren as his own.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the funeral service will be on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., both at Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, 529 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida 32073, (904) 264-1233. Interment will be at the Jacksonville National Cemetery.