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Calvin Reynolds MacKay

July 22, 2018

July 20, 1923 ~ July19, 2018

Calvin Reynolds MacKay, born July 20, 1923, died July 19, 2018. Ren was sociable and optimistic like his mother, Agnes Reynolds MacKay Boyer. He was dignified and patient like his father, Dewey Calder MacKay.

Ren met Bertha Virginia Kotter (1923-2010) at Madison Junior High. They both went on to Granite High School where they served in student government. Ginny was on the debate team. Ren was the star All-American Guard on the basketball team which won the state championship. Their peers considered them the ideal couple.

Ren learned to play basketball after his dad put up a hoop. In later years it became the family game. Ren played well into his eighties - even occasionally managing to land his famous hook shot.

Ren and Ginny attended the University of Utah. He gave up sports for academics, determining to study medicine like his brother, Dewey. Ren graduated in the second class of the new University of Utah Medical School in 1945, and married his sweetheart that same year in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

The couple moved to Hawaii which Ren considered the most exotic of his choices for internships. And although they returned to Utah within a few years, Hawaii was always fondly remembered and often visited.

Ren had a peripatetic nature. He grew restless practicing medicine in South Salt Lake. After seeing the film Panic in the Streets, he joined the Public Health Service and took his family to Arkansas, Mississippi, New Orleans, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco. Even after he left the Service, he practiced medicine in seven different locations.

Education was always important to Ren. He loved to study and take tests. He earned medical boards in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, forensic, and diagnostic medicine. He studied Spanish so he could better communicate with some of his patients. He studied Arabic so he could read the Quaran in the original language. He was a voracious reader. Books were always piled around him - medical books, murder mysteries, westerns, adventure stories.

Ren also enjoyed writing. In high school, he won a poetry contest. As a young doctor, he published research articles in distinguished medical journals. In later years, he wrote theological texts which he self-published.

His passions were his family, his work, and his faith - into which he poured energy and resources. He was indomitable - with the chutzpah to suppose that by sheer force of will, he could change the course of events - sometimes he succeeded.

He loved road trips even when he got lost; he loved fishing even if he did not catch any; he loved building things even if the finish was not perfect. He invested in the Park City West Ski Resort; so we learned to ski. He operated MacKinder Farms, so we learned to process peaches. He managed CMT Tools, so we learned to use new inventions.

Reynolds and Virginia raised their children to be each other’s best friends and so we are: Dr. Kathryn L. MacKay, Dr. Brent C. and Jeannine Jackson MacKay, Brian R. and Shiona Gray MacKay, Dr. William and N. Michelle MacKay Elton, Mark R. and Stephanie Kearl MacKay, Paul F. and Dr. Kathryn Lake MacKay. Their grandchildren number eighteen; their living great-grandchildren number thirty-nine.

The family thanks those who cared for Dr. Ren at Mountain Ridge Assisted Living and with Comfort Worx Hospice. Grave-side services will be Monday, July 23, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Arlington section of Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 Highland Dr., Salt Lake City.

It was his generosity and graciousness for which Ren will be most remembered. In his memory, we invite you to give to a scholarship fund, take a child fishing, or join someone in singing “You Are My Sunshine.”