Alice Buckner McKay was born in New Orleans on January 15, 1930. She attended high school at Gilbert Academy graduating in 1947.
Alice went on to learn x-ray technology under the tutorship of Dr. Richard Timpton. She passed the national board exam in the late 50’s and became one of the first black female x-ray technicians in the country. She worked at Flint Goodridge Hospital in New Orleans as the Chief Radiologic Technologist for many years. She was a member of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and worked at Charity Hospital, as well.
Alice enjoyed traveling around the world to Spain, France, Africa, China, England, the Caribbean Islands, and other countries to continue her education and to enjoy live Jazz performances. She was an avid jazz fan and was a staple in the Jazz Tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for many years. Alice provided great home cooked meals to musicians, friends and family in her home. When the doors of the Jazz Fest closed for the evening, the party continued at Alice’s house. She met many lifetime friends on numerous Jazz cruises over the years. Alice really loved Jazz, her friends, traveling, and good times. She nurtured and encouraged musicians of all ages.
Believing in giving back to society, Alice volunteered at The Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp, Audubon Park, City Park, Hermann-Grima House, and The International Visitors Program, which allowed her to entertain visitors in her home from many foreign countries. She was given the title, “Grandmother-in-Residence”, as a result of the countless hours spent as a volunteer with the babies at the Hume Child Development Center Alice loved choral singing, was a member of the choir at Christ Church Cathedral and was a regular visitor at Central St. Matthew United Church In Christ and Pilgrim Progress M.B.C. Alice was an honorary member of The Zonta Club of New Orleans. Her generosity was evident up to her death. She donated her remains to LSU Medical School for scientific research and left a contribution to the jazz camp in her will.
The Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp faculty, staff and students miss Alice but have lasting memories of her participation and many contributions to the success of the program.