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Ennis resident first to die of West Nile Virus

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The Ellis County Press

ENNIS - Long-time Ennis resident Nan McKay, 85, was believed to be the first person in Ellis County to die from West Nile encephalitis.

McKay died at Ennis Regional Medical Center July 27.

She is the second person to die from the virus in Texas this year.

In Montgomery County, near Houston, a 68-year-old man died from the West Nile Virus July 20.

Mary P. Thompson remembered her mother as a 'wonderful mother, wonderful grandmother.

'She was friendly and outgoing.'

Thompson said she urged her mother to go to the hospital after she broke a

rib following a fall in her bathroom Tuesday, July 22.

McKay was moved to the Intensive Care Unit after she began having seizures.

Doctors later determined she was suffering from encephalitis or swelling of the brain after a spinal tap was done.

Born into a farmer family April 23, 1918 she grew up in Preston, Miss. and moved to Texas in the mid-70's to be 'closer to us,' her daughter said.

She later married Jack McKay, Ennis Chamber of Commerce Manager from 1957 to 1979.

For many years McKay was an avid gardener who loved being outdoors and she

sat outside in the evenings visiting with other residents or just enjoying the breeze, according to Thompson.

McKay worked for many years as a night clerk for J.E. Keever Mortuary, who handled her funeral arrangements as well.

She was laid to rest at Myrtle Cemetery in Ennis.

Her husband, Jack McKay and her son Roger Peden preceded her in death.

'We need to wake some of these senior citizens up to the fact this is not immune to them,' Thompson said.

'It can happen. It did happen.'

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