Cover photo for Lois June Mackay's Obituary
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1931 Lois 2023

Lois June Mackay

June 13, 1931 — November 28, 2023

Lois J. Mackay, 92, of Moorhead, Minnesota, formerly of Grand Forks, North Dakota, died Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at Elim Nursing Home, Fargo, North Dakota.

Lois was born June 13, 1931, to Newell Goddard Harris and Nora Evelyn (Anderson) Harris in Frontier, Wyoming. She grew up in Kemmerer, Wyoming, and was active in vocal music and high school band. Lois attended the University of Wyoming studying piano, voice, and music education. She was united in marriage to James Mackay, Jr., on December 27, 1951, in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

James served overseas in the Korean War, and they were stationed in Tennessee, Texas, Alaska, and Washington. Their first child, Patricia Leigh Mackay, was born on June 26, 1954, in Provo, Utah. She passed away on January 22, 1955, due to a heart defect.

After the war, they returned to Laramie where James studied at the University of Wyoming. Their second child, James Edward Mackay, was born on December 29, 1960, in Lander, Wyoming. She taught private music lessons at Lander, Wyoming. In 1965, they moved to Oakland, Nebraska, where James was a hospital administrator. Their third child, Thomas James Mackay, was born on January 12, 1967, in Oakland, Nebraska. James also served as hospital administrator in Hot Springs, South Dakota, from 1968-1979, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, from 1979-1982, Elkhart, Kansas, from 1982-1986, Kemmerer, Wyoming, from 1986-1988 and Mayville, North Dakota, from 1988 until retiring in 2005. During this time of relocating for James and his career, Lois always taught private piano lessons in the communities they lived in.

They moved to Grand Forks in 2005 and James Mackay, Jr., passed away a couple of years later on December 23, 2007. Lois resided in Grand Forks until 2019, when she moved to Moorhead, Minnesota, to live with her son and son-in-law. Lois moved to Elim Nursing Home on January 24, 2023.

Throughout her life, Lois was active in teaching music, in her church, in homemaking and as a mother and caregiver. She enjoyed reading, listening to music, playing the piano, visiting with relatives, bible study, and asking questions of her smart speaker.

Lois is survived by her sons, James Mackay (William Weightman) of Moorhead, Minnesota and Thomas Mackay (Sheral Graham) of Kapolei, Hawaii, several nieces and nephews.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband, James Mackay, Jr., daughter, Patricia Mackay, parents, Newell and Nora Harris, sister and sister-in-law, Faye (Arthur) Smith and Barbara (Hale) Laybourn, nephew, Newell Smith, and niece, Dorothy Laybourn.

Lois’s family would like to thank the staff of Sanford Medical Center's Neuro floor, the staff of Sanford Hospice, the staff of Fargo Elim, Pastor Jordan Uhlhorn of Ascension Lutheran Church, Moorhead, and Father Jamie Parsley of St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Fargo, for caring for her during this final illness.

A graveside service will take place in the spring/summer of 2024 at Memorial Park South, Grand Forks.

To order memorial trees in memory of Lois June Mackay, please visit our tree store.


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