Army Sergeant Rachel Reve McKay ’18 passed away unexpectedly at the United States Army’s Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia on April 8. The death is under investigation and no immediate cause of death was provided. Rachel was twenty-three years old.

McKay graduated from Marblehead High School, in Marblehead, Massachusetts, prior to attending William Smith in the fall of 2014. She graduated from William Smith last year. She was a political science major who also played forward on the Herons ice hockey team and played for the William Smith golf team where she earned many accolades.

After graduation she enrolled in the Army’s Basic Combat Training and worked in the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. She had been on assignment in Fort Benning attending the United States Army’s Officer Candidate School.

McKay was described in her obituary as “a proud, fit, respected, and tireless soldier, and a sought-after ‘battle buddy’ by her fellow officer candidates in the highly selective program.” It continued: “She was a genuine and caring person with extra doses of empathy and admiration for the underdog, and was deeply rooted with a sense of fairness and selflessness. She will be missed more than words can express by the many people she touched during her far too short time with them.”

On Instagram, her father wrote: “We love you and miss you Rachel and will cherish our short time with you forever. May you find the peace in Heaven that you sought here on Earth.”

Flags were flown at half-staff on Thursday, April 18 at state buildings in Massachusetts and at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in memory of Rachel McKay, Class of 2018.

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