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NOV 19, 2018

IN MEMORY: Gregory McKay z''l (1942-2018)

We are sad to report that Gregory McKay, Holocaust survivor and Museum Board Member, passed away on Sunday, November 18.

Gregory's parents, Michael and Silvi McKay (originally Speelman), married in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in September 1939, just three weeks after World War II began. The following year, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands. Michael and Silvi managed to hide, a task that became even more difficult when their son Gregory was born in 1942 in the attic of their hiding home.

Michael, a doctor and professor, was active with the Dutch underground resistance. He was assigned to deliver microfilm documenting the Dutch coastline to Switzerland. In January 1943, Michael, Silvi and Gregory escaped from the Netherlands into Switzerland. His parents carried him across the border in a black bag.

After a treacherous and dangerous 10-day journey by rail, car and foot, they reached Switzerland. Michael then went back to Holland, and brought his wife's parents (Gregory's maternal grandparents) to safety in Switzerland as well. The rest of his relatives perished in the Holocaust.

After the war, Gregory's family settled in Los Angeles, where he worked in investments. Gregory and his mother were both active in building the Museum's permanent home in Pan Pacific Park. Many of their family's artifacts, including the black bag in which Gregory was carried, are on permanent display in the Museum.

Gregory is survived by his partner Janis, three children, and his brother and sister-in-law.

May his memory be for a blessing.

A memorial for Gregory will be held at the Museum on Monday, December 17 at 3:00 pm. More information will follow.