ANITA LOUISE (JOHNSON) MCKEE

Obituary
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Louise was born on June 2, 1932 in Schenectady, New York. Her father was a career engineer with General Electric, and the family moved several times during her childhood and early teens; to Fort Wayne, Indiana; Marblehead, Massachusetts; Syracuse, New York; Livingston, New Jersey; and finally in 1948 to Richland, Washington. She finished high school at St. Paul's School for Girls in Walla Walla, then entered college at Washington State University. After one year there she enrolled at Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Portland, graduating in 1955. Returning home, she met Clark McKee and the two were married on June 9, 1956.

Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to San Jose where Clark worked in commercial nuclear power with General Electric, and they began their family. Two daughters, Laura Louise and Gail Elizabeth were born there, then the family moved to Santa Cruz County where Julia Lynn was born. In 1967 they moved to Wilmington, North Carolina for the startup of a new nuclear fuel plant, but preferring the west, returned to the Tri-Cities in 1969 where they - Louise especially - continued the rearing, education and launching of the girls, and she began painting. In 1982 they moved to Bellevue where Louise worked with the Bellevue Art Museum and pursued her art. In 1987 they moved to a lovely country home near Monroe and finally "retired" to Anacortes in 2005.

Louise's life was one of well met challenges including providing stability and growth for the family throughout their many moves, developing and applying her skills in child rearing, homemaking and art (she became a very good artist, sang beautifully and excelled as a seamstress). But perhaps her greatest challenge was coping with Alzheimer's Disease during the last twelve or more years of her life. As a person of faith, she accepted the limitations this disease imposed and understood what the outcome would be. Her last intelligible words were "I'm very sick" and then "I'm not afraid". She crossed the divide on July 20.

Louise leaves behind her husband, the daughters, brothers Bob and Richard of New York, grandchildren Aaron, Elsa, Renae and Katrina of Seattle, Bellingham, Texas and Iowa respectively, sons-in-law Jim and Dean, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and many good friends. We miss her greatly, but are thankful that her ordeal is over at last and that she is now in a better place.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Anacortes on August 10 at 2:00. Donations to Gentry House in lieu of flowers is suggested.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on July 27, 2013
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