Newton- Jason Arnold McRee, 75, Catawba County native, passed away at his home in Beaverton, Oregon on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. He was born September 8, 1941 in Catawba County to the late James Arnold McRee and Elizabeth Roberta Poovey McRee of Conover. As a youngster, Jason was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church in Conover and is remembered as an avid reader. A 1959 graduate of Newton Conover High School, he was a member of the NCHS Band and a star musician under Joshua Tyler, Newton's well-loved director. Jason was a flutist, known for his excellent renditions of John Philip Sousa's marches played on his flute and piccolo. From 1959-1966, Jason served in the United States Marine Corp with a rank of Sergeant and traveled extensively as a member of the Marine Corp Band. After discharge from the Marines, he returned to Japan and married his wife, Michi Hayashi on November 16, 1966. Jason and Michi were married just short of 50 years in November. After their marriage, they settled in Honolulu, Hawaii where they lived until retirement in 2005. For approximately 40 years Jason worked for Japan Airlines at the Honolulu Airport, and after retirement, he and Michi had made their home in Beaverton, Oregon for the past 12 years. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Michi, of the home in Beaverton; daughters, Miwa McRee Nishi and husband, James of Portland, Oregon; Miki McRee and fiancé David Brust and his children, Maci and Grant of Agoura Hills, California; his only grandchild, Genesis McRee Lucas and husband, Marshall also of Agoura Hills; brothers, James Michael McRee and wife, Becky of Newton, NC and Daniel P. McRee and wife, Judi of Hamilton, Virginia. A graveside service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Conover City Cemetery where Jason will be laid to rest near his parents and ancestors. Pastor Ben Micheel will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Providence Hospice, 6410 NE Halsey Street, Suite 300, Portland, Oregon 97213-9904 or Concordia Lutheran Church, 216 5th Ave. SE, Conover, NC 28613. Condolences may be sent to the McRee family at www.drumfh-conover.com. The McRee family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremations in Conover, NC.
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