Family, friends gather to remember Dave McKay

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One-by-one, family members and friends of the beloved Tampa radio personality Dave McKay shared personal stories inside the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg Thursday evening. 

Each story shared a commonality: The country radio host loved everyone and had a huge heart.

“He put himself in the cheap seats, as we say it. He wasn’t trying to be a star. He wouldn’t say, 'I’m Dave McKay,' he leaned in and talked to you,” said Orlando Davis, a fellow radio host who worked alongside McKay for more than 20 years.

Though their styles in music differed, their connection was like that of family.

“It’s been hard. It’s been unimaginable. Dave’s a guy that has a lot of life in him. To have something like this happen, it is hard,” Davis said.

McKay passed away at his home in St. Petersburg last Thursday. He was 55.

“He loved St. Petersburg. He lived here, he played here, he ate here. He loved St Pete. St. Pete loved him back,” said former St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster.

His impact could be felt throughout the crowd tat Thursday’s event. The seats were full.

“Everybody loved him. He was such a friendly guy and he had integrity,” said Michelle Odom.

He had the kind of connection with his audience many DJs envied. 

“DJs try, and dictate where they try, and move the crowd. Dave was more of a person who wanted to listen to the crowd. He wanted to reflect the audience,” said Davis.