James's Story

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Services honoring and remembering the life of James David McKee, Sr. will be 2 p.m., Monday, April 17, 2017 at the Church of the Nazarene in Claremore. The family will receive visitors from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Rice Funeral Service. Interment services will be held at the Woodland Cemetery in Ironton, Ohio at a later date.
He grew up in South Point, Ohio and graduated third in his class from South Point High School in 1953. He went on to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. On Sept. 28, 1957 James married his high school sweetheart: Julia Brubaker. After graduation he served six months active duty in the US Army and six years of service in the Army Reserves.
Started his civilian career at the Allied chemical plant in South Point. After working in Ohio for six years he moved his family to Baton Rouge, and eventually to Houston where he retired at the age of 62. After retirement he moved with Julia to continue her career as an artist in Taos, New Mexico where they lived for eleven years. And in 2006 they moved to Claremore to be closer to their grandchildren.
James was very knowledgeable in many things. He thrived on information. He was especially knowledgeable about fitness and exercise and enjoyed lifting weights and working out at the gym. When on vacation, instead of seeing the sights, he would seek out the local gyms.
James was a man with a big heart. A selfless, giving man. He was a child of the depression and didn't spend a lot of money on himself. But would not hesitate to give to anyone who was in need: whether that was his children, grandchildren or children in his church who needed school clothes and supplies. Often these gifts were given "sneakily" so that no one would know he was involved. He was also very giving of his time and man power and so willing to help others anytime he could. James was the first to show up for a work day at church and any other job that someone needed his help with.
Surviving family members include his wife: Julia McKee of Claremore; one son: James D. McKee, Jr. and his wife Kerry of Granite Falls, North Carolina; one daughter: Melanie Brezik and her husband Ricky of Houston, TX; two sisters: Kati Davidson and Janet McKee of South Point, Ohio; two grandchildren: Makayla Lyons, and Cameron McNutt; two great-grandchildren: Keenon Lyons and Stetson McNutt; as well as many other family and friends. James was preceded in death by his parents and a brother: Ray McKee.
Published on April 14, 2017
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