Koln Gunn McKay was a U.S. Congressman, businessman, teacher, and farmer. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
McKay was born on February 23, 1925, in Ogden, Utah. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He studied at Weber State College and Utah State University, where he obtained a degree in education in 1962. That same year he began his political career by serving two terms in the Utah House of Representatives. He then served as administrative assistant to Utah governor Calvin L. Rampton from 1967 to 1970. In 1971 he was elected as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Utah’s first district. He was in office from January 1971 to January 1981. He lost his bid for reelection to Republican James V. Hansen during the Ronald Reagan era that placed many Republicans in office. Some of the more prominent accomplishments during his service include reopening Utah’s Minuteman Missile production line, securing the F-16 fighter mission for Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, obtaining increased security funding for Tooele’s nerve gas storage facility, and securing funding for the further development of Capitol Reef National Park, Glen Canyon, Arches, and Zion National Park.
McKay married Donna Biesinger and they were the parents of ten children. He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities, including stake president, stake president, temple sealer, and bishopric counselor. He was president of the Edinburgh Scotland Mission between 1981 and 1984 and served with his wife in missions to Kenya, Malaysia, and Pakistan. As a young man he served a mission to Britain. He was a cousin of LDS Church president David O. McKay.
He died from complications of mesothelioma on October 6, 2000.