Ernestine Hall McKay was born on March 10, 1942, to Ernest Hall and Stella Mae Jones Hall in Louisville, Miss. She married Marion Ellis McKay, Jr. of Canton, Miss., in 1962. They celebrated over 51 years of love and adventures together spanning from Mississippi to South Florida.
She is survived by her sons Joel Ellis McKay of Fort Myers, Fla., Johnathan Lucas McKay (Katie) of Atlanta, Ga., Samuel Hayden McKay of Fort Myers. Her spirit is carried on by her sons; granddaughters Mindy McKay Morton (William) of Madison, Miss., and Megan McKay Richards (Brandon) of Dallas, Ga.; great-grandchildren; her sister Betty Hossfeld (Herman); brother Bob Hall; sister-in-law Memrie McKay-Cook (Rhodes); brother-in-law Dee McKay; and other nieces, nephews, friends and family. She is predeceased by her parents; brother Ernest Hall, Jr.; brother Doug Hall, and great-granddaughter Brianna Claire Richards.
Ernestine received a B.S. from Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., and a Certified Financial Services Counselor designation (with honors) from Northwestern University's National Graduate Trust School. Her extensive investment management experience expanded over 40 years. For 17 years she worked at and later held the position of senior vice president of the Trust Department for Deposit Guaranty Bank in downtown Jackson, Miss., now Regions Bank. Later, while president of Pan American Bank, she was responsible for the management of $500 million of trust funds. In 1986 she co-founded Investment Advisors of Key Biscayne, Inc. where she served as president and portfolio manager. In addition, she was the co-founder, executive vice president, and member of the investment committee at Biscayne Advisors, Inc.
Ernestine's professional career rallied respect beyond measure, though she never neglected her love of live theater and the arts. She was active in local community theater groups including the Key Biscayne music and drama club where she directed, produced, and starred in numerous productions at Calusa Playhouse on Key Biscayne, Coral Gables Country Club, and BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater on Sanibel Island. Ernestine's contributions to live theater spanned decades, hailed rave reviews and her love affair with the magical tales of The Wizard of Oz never faltered.
Ernestine loved big, embraced freely, celebrated the smallest of moments, and made habit of overstuffing her family and friends with culinary delights. She cherished family, laughter, live guitar sessions performed by her sons, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, shelling, and botanical/wildlife preservation.
Keeping with Ernestine's motto to "do what makes you happy" donations in her honor to a charity or cause of your choice is requested in lieu of flowers.
Friends may join the family for a celebration of life reception at her home located at 3031 Poinciana Circle, Sanibel Island, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 27.
The family understands that many people will not be able to attend the celebration of life reception considering the long distance and short notice. Family and friends are invited to celebrate remotely by sending your thoughts, words and toasts which will be read in her honor at the times set forth above.
Please provide your thoughts by email directly to MindyMcKayMorton@gmail.com.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, 1589 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33907, 239-936-0555. Online condolences may be made at: www.fortmyersmemorial.com.