On September 16, 2020, in Richfield, our beloved father and friend, Kay L. McIff, returned peacefully to his heavenly home and to the family and friends awaiting him there, most importantly, his sweetheart and wife of more than 50 years, Renee Stephenson McIff. Kay was a dedicated and loving husband, father, brother, friend and so many other things. He will be dearly missed and always remembered.
Born on September 21, 1939, just west of Sterling, Utah, Kay was the middle child of three, born to Rose Ludvigson and Eldon McIff. Their family, along with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins in Sanpete County, were very close. Educated alongside his siblings in a one-room schoolhouse, Kay went on to graduate from Manti High School. After high school he joined and served in the United States Army. He attended Snow College and later graduated from Utah State University, where he served as student body vice-president. Kay later received his juris doctorate degree from the University of Utah and began a remarkable career as an attorney.
Kay served in the East Central States Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a trusted leader and played an instrumental role in the organization of the Paris, Kentucky branch of the church, which is now a thriving ward and stands as one of Kay’s most rewarding contributions.
While in law school, Kay met Renee Stephenson, a beautiful teacher at Granite High School. They were married March 22, 1968, in the Manti LDS Temple and settled in Richfield, which would be their forever and cherished home. They started a family, beginning with Mark, then Ann Marie, Julie, Matt and Amy. Their family was the light of their lives.
Kay’s career spanned more than five decades and bears the unique quality of extending to all three branches of government. Early on, he served as county attorney for Sevier and Piute counties. He later served as a judge in Utah’s Sixth District Court. After retirement from the judiciary, Kay served ten years in the Utah Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives.
Kay was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in the bishopric, the stake presidency, and as president of the Fishlake Branch—a role that he and Renee enjoyed immensely.
Kay held a life-long commitment to higher education and diligently worked to improve its access and quality, especially for those in rural areas. He served on the Utah Board of Regents for several years and also on boards at Snow College and Southern Utah University, where he acted as chairman of the Board of Trustees. He later received honorary doctorate degrees from both institutions.
Kay is lovingly remembered by his children: Mark (Stacee) McIff, Ann Marie (Randy) Allen, Julie McIff Barney, Matthew (Rachel) McIff and Amy McIff; along with 13 grandchildren. He is also survived by his two siblings: Bruce McIff and Marilyn Lyon. Kay is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Renee, his parents, and an infant grandchild, Jacob Kay Barney.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 26, at 12:00 Noon at the Richfield Tabernacle. Friends and family may call Friday evening from to 6 – 8 p.m. and Saturday morning from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Magleby Mortuary in Richfield. Burial will be in the Richfield City Cemetery with military honors by the V.F.W. Sevier Post #5050 and Utah Honor Guard. Live streaming of the services and on-line guestbook can be found at www.maglebymortuary.com under Kay’s obituary.
The McIff Family extends its gratitude to the countless friends, family members, ward members, colleagues, and neighbors who knew and loved Kay. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to contribute to the Kay & Renee McIff Memorial Scholarship Fund for either Snow College, www.snow.edu/kaymciffgiving, or Southern Utah University, http://www.suu.edu/advancement/mciff-scholarship.html, honoring the couple’s undying commitment to higher education.
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McIff Scholarship - Snow College
McIff Scholarship - Southern Utah University