Elijah Bae McKay, 40, of Myrtle Beach, SC, unexpectedly passed away on Sunday evening, January 15, 2023. He is celebrated and survived by his parents, LeeAnn and Leonard McKay; his son, Nikolai (age 13), daughter, Skyla (age 9), and their mother, Noelle Potter; his brother, Taj McKay; sister, Santana McKay and her son, Shiloh Zak (age 8); his in-laws, Karen and Mark Potter, Jon Potter, Ryan Potter, and Rachel Potter; in addition to numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, lifelong friends, and wrestling coaches, peers, and youth wrestlers whom he coached.
Elijah was born in Sonoma, California and grew up in Gardner, Maine after moving with his parents at the age of 9 months. Elijah was a precocious, active, and smart child who was passionate about reading, music, and the outdoors. At 10-years-old, Elijah was an alter server at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. During his attendance at Gardner Area High School, Elijah was a two-time state champion wrestler his sophomore and senior year, while also participating in the Maine State Freestyle. Elijah graduated from Gardner Area High School in 2001 and went on to apprentice at Hodgdon’s Yachts as a ship builder.
Elijah moved to California as a union carpenter in the San Jose area before transitioning to Mendocino County to be closer to his sister and become a skilled grower. Soon thereafter, Elijah was joined by his parents and brother, reuniting his family in California in 2006, where he helped them build the house they still reside in today.
Elijah fell in love with Noelle Potter, and their son, Nikolai, was born in 2009. Their family of three returned to the east coast and their daughter, Skyla was born in 2013.
Over the last decade, Elijah worked, resided, and raised his children on both coasts. His childhood passions survived into adulthood, which he excitedly shared with those he loved. Elijah settled into South Carolina in 2021 where he has been actively involved in and immensely proud of his son’s wrestling and daughter’s gymnastics abilities and accolades. Additionally, Elijah coached the Carolina Reapers’ youth wrestling team and also wrestled in adult matches. This past Christmas he was honored to wrestle the Grinch while dressed as Santa Claus.
The family will receive friends at McMillan-Small Funeral Home, Tuesday, January 24, 2023 from 3:00-4:00pm with a Celebration of Life immediately following. Guests are invited to stay for a reception after the service from 5:00-6:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate support to the following GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/f/elijah-mckay?qid=2764f54ade3e12fdeb756ed2bcae2f24 to assist in funeral expenses and financial support for Elijah’s two children, Nikolai and Skyla McKay.