February 8, 2023

Harold Mackay 11/02/10

Deep River–Harold Mackay, 61, widely known throughout the Deep River area as Harold the Can Man, has died.

He collapsed in front of Adams Supermarket Oct. 28 while working at what he called “my business.” He was transported by ambulance and then by Life Star Helicopter to Yale New Haven Hospital. He died Nov. 2 without regaining consciousness.

He was a resident of Riverview Lodge for over 20 years. It is a family-owned licensed residential care home. Some of the residents’ care there is paid for by the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services.

He was born in Waterville, Maine.  He lived in Meriden with his mother and stepfather and went to high school there, and later attended Middlesex Community College.

He married young but the marriage was brief. He had a son, Harold Mackay Jr., of Meriden, CT.

He worked here and there over the years. For a while for G&C Maintenance in Middletown and for the Deep River Parks and Recreation Department.

He became ill and spent many years at Connecticut Valley Hospital.   

What made him so remarkable and so well known in the Deep River area is how hard he worked day in and day out, year after year, walking many miles with his supermarket grocery cart to collect empty deposit bottles and cans and redeeming them. Nothing slowed him or discouraged him.

 He was a man who seemed to enjoy his aloneness—but maybe it was just shyness. A man of few words but high intelligence.

He earned widespread respect and admiration for his hard work and diligence. Never a problem of any kind.

Jim DeLano Jr. of Riverview Lodge RCH said of him: “Harold impressed so many of us. Great work ethic. Honest. Kind and giving. Many friends.”

He will have a private burial. A memorial service will be held at Riverview Lodge RCH, 10 Prospect St., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 12:30 p.m. The Rev. Timothy Haut of Deep River Congregational Church will lead the service. All friends are invited.

Nobody will be surprised if quite a few attend. If you plan to attend, please call Jim DeLano at 860-526-4941 for planning purposes.

No memorial donations are being solicited. But if memorial donations are offered, they will be used to boost the entertainment and recreation fund for residents at Riverview Lodge and create a plaque in Harold’s honor.