By Carol Mowdy Bond
Dr. Kenneth Ray McAlister, a longtime Yukon pharmacist, has died of COVID-19.
McAlister passed away Sunday, December 27, at age 88. He had been hospitalized at Mercy Hospital, in Oklahoma City, for a week, before succumbing to health issues complicated by COVID-19.
Known as “Mac” or “Ken,” he was well known in the area by multiple generations of local residents. He and his son, Dr. Craig McAlister, co-owned Conrad Marr Drug, 948 S. Yukon Parkway, where Ken was still working on a part-time basis.
Described as happy, quiet, unassuming, focused, and determined, Ken knew his customers by name. They were important to him because they were more than customers. They were his friends.
A member of St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church of Yukon, Ken was also a Charter Rotarian with the Yukon Rotary Club, and a long-time member of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.
Yukon Public Schools recognized him for his contributions to Yukon athletics. Ken was born June 29, 1932, in Mannsville, to Mary and Beeler McAlister. He grew up in numerous places, including El Reno and Oklahoma City. Ken attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Oklahoma City from grades 6 through 12. The school remained important to him throughout his life.
After high school, Ken entered the U.S. Air Force, serving for four years. He was a staff sergeant, serving as a tech school instructor for the Air Force in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Greeley, Colorado; and Denver, Colorado. He then attended the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his pharmacy degree. In 1960, Ken began working in a Conrad Marr Drug store in Oklahoma City.
In 1962, he opened the 6th Conrad Marr store, located in Yukon.
McAlister is survived by his wife of 45 years, Irene Mach McAlister, as well as his children and their spouses: Mark McAlister and his wife Lauri of Phoenix, Arizona; Gail McKinnon and her husband Doug of Houston, Texas; Dr. Craig McAlister and his wife Eva of Oklahoma City; Keith Vian McAlister and his wife Amy of Yukon; Mindi Vian Kessler and her husband Christian of Conifer, Colorado.
He is also survived by his nephew Dr. Ted Ware and his wife Shannon, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending with Yanda & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Yukon.