CARLSBAD — Carlsbad recently lost two of the original members of the Carlsbad Volunteer Fire Department, notable community leaders who helped shape the city into what it is today.
Huston Tucker, 87, died Jan. 15, two weeks after suffering a stroke. Johnny McKaig, 83, died Jan. 17, and had recently been in declining health.
Tucker, born in Bethel, Okla., had been a resident since 1947 and was actively involved in the community from the beginning. Just last year, he enjoyed celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the first Boy Scout troop in Carlsbad, which he was instrumental in organizing. Tucker is also credited with starting the volunteer fire department after answering an ad and then recruiting others, organizing them into a nonprofit corporation and helping the department get its first truck.
One of the first volunteers to join him was Johnny McKaig. McKaig moved to Vista after World War II and took a job at a local barber shop. A few years later he moved to Carlsbad and eventually set up shop on State Street, where he became known as “Johnny the Barber.” Giving back to the community was something that came naturally to McKaig, and not only did he join the volunteer fire department, he also became a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary and the Boys Club.
When the city of Carlsbad incorporated in 1952, McKaig was one of the forces behind the effort, and was called one of the “Progress Boys.”
McKaig is survived b his wife Janet (Detwiler) McKaig, daughters Linda, Lisa and Patty Lou and a son, John, who now cuts hair at a barber shop on State Street, just as his father once did.
Tucker, who lost his wife, Helen, just two years ago, is survived by his daughters Sharon and Denise and sons Skip and David.