Monday, December 28, 2020

Obituary: Rick W. McLay, 66, Andover

 ANDOVER – Rick W. McLay, 66, passed away Thursday (Dec. 24, 2020) at Strong Memorial Hospital following a brief illness.

Mr. McLay was born on Sept. 2, 1954 in Schenectady to Henry Kirkpatrick and Virginia (Parr) McLay. He was a 1972 graduate of Cuba Central School and later earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University. On Sept. 12, 1997, he married Melody A. Hollen, who survives.

Rick retired in 2019 from a 36-year career at Alfred University where he served as Director of Creative Services which allowed him to utilize his talents as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer. He was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor and consummate representative for higher education, which he faithfully served.

In addition to his wife, Melody; Rick is survived by two children, Adrea (David) Brant of Ransomville and Sean (Jasmine) McLay of Livonia; a step-son, Matthew Blank of Andover; two siblings, Cheryl (Tom) Kehoe of Tucson, Ariz. and Ron (Beverly) McLay of McCook Lake, S.D.; two grandchildren, Hanna McLay of Rochester and Seth Russell of Wheatfield; a brother-in-law, Randy Hollen of Andover; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Rick was best known for his love of music and the myriad endeavors which a musician pursues. He was active in UMGF (Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum), sang and played guitar in the Andover Trio, led the instrumental section of the Andover Ecumenical Choir and often accompanied his wife Melody at the Andover Presbyterian Church.

Rick had a lifelong passion for learning. From childhood, he was an amateur naturalist with a fascination for all creatures great and small. Apart from his professional talents he utilized in his career, he was a gifted watercolorist, photographer and illustrator. Rick was an avid history buff, focusing much of his attention to the American Civil War and both World War I and World War II. He also had an amazing gift for remembering trivia. His family often commented that he was a Jeopardy champion in the making. He loved old movies which led to the impromptu family game of “Name That Quote”.

Rick, in his own quiet way was a people person. With his dry sense of humor and an uncanny ability to draw people out, he easily made friends and impacted those around him.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, a memorial service will be held in the spring at a date to be determined. Arrangements are under the direction of Baker-Swan Funeral Home and online condolences may be offered at

      Memorial contributions in Rick’s name may be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Andover, 34 East Greenwood St., Andover, NY 14806 and the SPCA Serving Allegany County, PO Box 381, Wellsville, NY 14895. © 2020 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.