LOWELL -- Tom McKay, the longtime manager of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium who survived a rare form of skin cancer years ago, died Sunday surrounded by his family.
McKay, with co-owners Leo Creegan and Terry McCarthy, ran the auditorium under Mill City Management from 1995 until about a year ago, when the city signed a new management contract with Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum, which also runs the Tsongas Center.
The three longtime co-owners had decided they wouldn't seek a renewal of their contract. McKay oversaw operations of the building starting in 1989.
McKay, who was in his late 60s, got the news about three years ago that he had liver cancer, and received a liver transplant in February 2012. He was diagnosed about 14 years ago with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer.
About a year after the liver transplant, he spoke to The Sun about his coming retirement and about feeling unsure of what his days would be like.
"I don't want to just wake up in the morning and do nothing," he said.
McCarthy said this about his close friend: "He was just such a great guy. He loved being around his family, his friends. He just loved helping people. He did it discreetly, and I don't think a lot of people knew just how much he helped folks. That's what I want people to remember about Tom."
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