In memory of
Melvin McKee Clive Melvin Darrel McKee, 82, of Clive, IA passed away October 12, 2016 at Taylor House in Des Moines with family at his side. Mel was born to Gerald and Mabel McKee at their farm home near Macksburg, IA on February 15, 1934, the 7th of 11 children. He attended Macksburg High School where he enjoyed and excelled in sports, especially basketball, and graduated in 1952. He did carpentry work before entering the US Army in January 1954 and served active duty until January 1956. Mel married his high school sweetheart Janet Cameron in July 1953 and over the next 9 years they had 4 children, Steven, Douglas, Julie and Kathy. After honorable discharge from the army in 1956, Mel, Janet and Steve moved to Des Moines where Mel worked, furthered his education with night classes and in 1959 began his career at Lorenz and Jones Marine Distributors. He became a partner there and enjoyed a 27-year career helping the company grow and prosper, retiring in 1986. In addition to a busy career and family he was active in the Masonic Lodge and is a Past-Master of the Des Moines Adelphic Chapter. He participated in Square Dance Club, YMCA Indian Guides with his sons, at one point leading the Des Moines Area Branches as "Nation Chief". He participated in numerous scouting camps, trips and activities, and was always the coolest dad. All his children remember special times and activities with their father, who was always there to help whether it was homework, carving a pumpkin or singing us to sleep; guitar in hand. He was always a great father, listener and problem solver. In 1980, Mel married Dorothy Sullivan and they lived in West Des Moines, Murray, KY, Orono, MN, Eden Prairie, MN and Clive, IA during their marriage. They moved to Clive in the summer of 2014 prior to Dori's passing that November. Mel especially liked their many years living on Kentucky Lake and Lake Minnetonka; where he enjoyed his passion for boating and the water. He enjoyed family visiting them and especially enjoyed getting them out on the lakes. In addition to cruising and fishing, Mel even took up the interesting and challenging pursuit of "Brailing", which is the harvesting of freshwater mussels while living on Kentucky Lake; refitting a large workboat and enjoyed many summer days working at that endeavor. Mel was an engineer at heart, and it seemed each trip to the lake would reveal a new invention or method for him to accomplish a project by himself. He wasn't afraid to tackle anything. Mel married Karen Burr on October 3, 2015. Their time together was a blessing to Mel, even though it was punctuated by his cancer diagnosis. Mel's family sincerely appreciates Karen's love, work and help brightening his life and caring for him through his illness. Mel is survived by his wife, Karen; his four children, Steven McKee (Paula) of Johnston, IA, Douglas McKee (Haydee) of St Paul, MN, Julie Rogers (Mark) of Urbandale, IA and Kathy Anderson (Paul) of Acworth, GA; thirteen grandchildren, Katie Jenkins (Ryan), Marc McKee (Lea), Jonathan McKee (Melanie), Max McKee, Shevek McKee (Deborah), Douglas "Gabi" McKee, Esmeralda "Mayte" McKee, Kristen Thompson (Landan), Kyle Hutcheson, Brooke Rogers, Victor Anderson (Kay La), Cody Anderson, and Matthew Wagner; eight great-grandchildren, Ainsley Jenkins, Emily Jenkins, Kaylee McKee, Nora McKee, Sam Gibson, Hayden Thompson, Charlie Thompson and Abigail Thompson; three step-daughters, Nancy Sullivan, Kathy Phillips (Keith) and Karen Julian (Tony); eight step-grandchildren, John (Joanne) Sullivan, William (Laura) Sullivan, Nick (Heather) Sullivan, Mike (Taiana) Phillips, Meagan Phillips, Chamba Pacheco (Estrella), Luis Pacheco (Raquel) and Steven Perez; two brothers, Lyman and Larry; five sisters, Lucille, Maxine, Afada, Iola and Carlotta and many nieces and nephews. Mel was preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Mabel McKee; three brothers, Joe, Roger, and William; and his second wife, Dorothy. Funeral services will be at 11:00 am on Friday, October 21 at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home. Family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 am. Interment will be at 12:30 pm at Iowa Veterans Cemetery. The family expresses a heart-felt thanks to all the staff at Taylor House who took such great care of our dad. Memorials are suggested to either the American Cancer Society or Taylor House. On-line condolences are welcome at www.caldwellparrish.com .
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