Kenneth A. McVay
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Kenneth A. McVay
  • October 9, 1929 - May 17, 2016
  • Bristol, Rhode Island

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On May 17th as the sun rose Kenneth Alton McVay passed peacefully at home. Ken loved his family, the Marine Corps, and sailing, but mostly he loved Ruth, his devoted wife of 64 years. Born in Providence, he grew up in Cranston, the son of Howard Wesley McVay and Marjorie (Jellison) McVay. The youngest of four brothers, he was predeceased by Ernest and George McVay, and is survived by Howard McVay.

He graduated from Cranston High School and enlisted in the US Marine Corps at the age of 17. During his time with the Marines, he was sent to Korea, where he survived the Battle of Chosin Reservoir and the Inchon Landing, and spent two tours in Vietnam. He retired after 30 years with the Corps as Lt. Col., the recipient of a bronze star and two purple hearts. Ken was one of the few Marines to work his way through all the ranks, starting at Private and working his way through to Sargent Major, when he was selected to be an officer, and he then worked his way through the ranks again to become Lt. Col.

He and Ruth retired to Bristol, R.I., where he attended Rhode Island College studying, and then teaching, Industrial Technology. During the summer he and Ruth ran a live aboard sailing school, along with his brother and sister-in-law, on their boat Pizzazz. In 1994, he retired from teaching, and when Ruth retired as well they spent their days together touring the world on various cruises, 56 in total. His favorite cruises were to the Caribbean, and his favorite pastime on the cruises was watching his wife win name-that-tune.

He always had the latest gadgets and technology, and enjoyed spending time scanning and sorting photos from the past on his computer. He was a volunteer docent at Herreshoff Museum, and was active in the Barrington United Methodist Church.

He leaves behind his loving wife Ruth, a daughter, Marilyn (McVay) Mathison, and two sons, Michael Kenneth McVay and Mark Howard McVay, a son-in-law Scott and daughter-in-law Debbie, and grandchildren Allison (McVay) Aguilar and her husband Marc, Lindsey McVay, Lydea Irwin, Marcel McVay, and Maxwell McVay, and great-grandchildren Elijah, Abigail, and Andrew Aguilar.

His service will be held on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 8:30 AM from the Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home, 615 Main Street, Warren, RI with a funeral service at 10AM in Barrington United Methodist Church, 230 Washington Road, Barrington, RI 02806. Burial with Military Honors will be in the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, South County Trail, Exeter, RI. Visitation, Sunday 3 - 6 PM. Contributions may be made in his memory to Barrington United Methodist Church. For information and condolences, www.wilbur-romano.com