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Bernard McKee Jr.

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Bernard McKee, Jr.

BRATTLEBORO Bernard McKee, Jr. ("Bernie") passed away on the morning of Jan. 26. 2015 at the age of 82, following an extended illness. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, he came to America for the duration of WWII. Following the war and after living for a few years in Scotland, he returned as an immigrant with his mother, Annie Florence McKee, and sister, Mary. The family resided in Woodside, Queens. He graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City, NY. Mr. McKee was drafted into the Korean War where he served with honor in the United States Army as a Sergeant First Class. He was awarded the Bronze Star. Bernie always remembered the kindness of the Salvation Army in their care for returning soldiers. Following his return to the U.S. from Korea, he became a U.S. citizen. He attended the University of Denver on the GI Bill and began a career in banking in Colorado after graduation. Mr. McKee moved to Washington D.C. to take a position with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and was ultimately promoted to Chief Ethics Officer. He lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland for many years. He traveled extensively for business domestically and traveled worldwide for pleasure. He had many wonderful stories from his travels and enjoyed collecting souvenirs. He made many friends worldwide. Following his retirement, Mr. McKee moved to Brattleboro, as he loved vacationing in Vermont, the scenery, and the people. He volunteered for several organizations over the past 20 years including in the school district, the humane society, and at his church. He traveled extensively including going around the world twice on a freighter and extended trips to Australia, Europe, and Turkey. He loved music, gourmet cooking, gardening, history, emailing, shopping, reading, dogs and cats, and friendships with his neighbors, especially Ellen Clancy and Chip and Audrey Ebbetts, of whom he was extremely fond. He attended St. Michael's Episcopal Church and, in later years, First Baptist Church of Brattleboro. He was a member of the Masonic brotherhood. Mr. McKee will be dearly missed by his sister, Mary Mertz, of Clifton Park, NY, his niece, Mary Grebe (Andrew) of Clifton Park, NY, niece, Clare Mertz (Daniel Ireland) of Voorheesville, NY with whom he was especially close, his nephew, Howard Mertz (Donna) of Islip Terrace, NY, his great nieces and nephews; William, Elizabeth, and Kathleen Grebe, Rachel and Justin Lee, and Kelly Mertz, and cousins including Patricia Mertz of Hagerstown, Maryland, Nancy Tuite of Danbury, CT, and Pauline Davidson of Evergreen, Colo. Mr. McKee also will be missed by his many friends locally, nationally, and globally, each who he cherished. The family wishes to thank his friends and neighbors, the staff at Pine Heights including on the rehabilitation and nursing care floors, the Brattleboro Rescue Squad, the home aides from Bayada, the staff at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital, the Hallowell Singers and all others who assisted and provided comfort, care and compassion to Bernie during his illness and to Bernie's family at a very difficult time. In honor of and in respect for Bernie's wishes, he asked that there be no service or calling hours. Please remember Bernie by enjoying a good meal, doing a kind deed, or contributing to the charitable cause of your choosing.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Jan. 27, 2015
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