Willard McKay ’63

7 June 2021

Class: 1963

Major: History

Residence: Williamsburg, VA

Deceased: October 10, 2020


Willard “Bidge” McKay came to Carleton from suburban Philadelphia and majored in history. On the day of graduation, he married classmate Jean “Dean” Jensen. They had two children but the marriage subsequently ended.

At the time of our class’s 45th reunion in 2008 he wrote as follows:

“History led me into the world of antiques and art, which I have always been interested in. In 1974 I began an antique and restoration business. In 1988 I created the Catalogued Sales division of the Alderfer Auction Co., a large Pennsylvania firm. I built it up to be noted nationally. In 1996, I resigned to go back into my own business, buying and selling, doing consultation, etc. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Antiques Appraisers Association.

“To some degree I have been active in areas of environmental concern. I rebuilt a house in northern Chester County to look like an eighteenth century ‘bank house’ but with R-28 walls and a, R-32 roof with significant passive solar gain and a convection cooling system. It costs only about $1200/year to heat and cool a 3500 sq./ft. home.

“I am divorced with two grown children, Julie in Madison who is quite knowledgeable in her chosen area of natural foods and healing. Rachel has followed my antiques and art path through Antioch College into the business, frequently using the internet. Into which she has dragged me kicking and screaming.”

A few years before his death, he wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about a young man in the summer before his freshman year in college, under the name “The Weaving of Harold Jenkins” (Lulu Publishing, 2015).

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