BOSTON - Jon D. McKee, Vermont native and longtime Boston resident, died on Thursday, June 6, 2013, at the age of 86. He passed away peacefully at home attended to by loving family and friends.
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Jon was born on April 2, 1927, to William L. McKee and Marguerite Edson McKee in Montpelier, Vt., where he joined siblings Elsie, Edson and Robert. A few years later, sister Nancy arrived and completed the family unit. The McKees resided for more than 60 years in their beloved home on 28 Loomis St.
A graduate of Montpelier High School, Jon pursued his love of design and architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1949. He was a founding partner of Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA) in Boston and became well-known and respected for his creative and innovative designs. According to Ara Krafian, president and CEO of SMMA, "Jon created architecture at SMMA. He sparked a spirit of curiosity and inspiration in everyone around him. He had a tremendous ability to connect the dots between personal interests and the design profession. He was a wonderful man, always paying attention to the person on the other side of every conversation. He will be greatly missed."
Jon was a world traveler who delighted in experiencing new places and different cultures, always paying close attention to architectural designs and structures. An avid patron of the arts, Jon loved music, especially opera, and collected art from around the world. He believed that his travels kindled his creative imagination and extended his professional skills. Known by his family, friends and colleagues as a generous, fun-loving and kind man, Jon was a philanthropist who believed in giving back to his chosen profession. In 1985, he founded the Lyceum Fellowship based upon the belief that architecture and design should be extended beyond the classroom to encompass a global perspective. For the past 28 years, the Lyceum has facilitated a yearly national and international design competition to promote and support young architectural students. The results have been life-changing and inspirational for over 75 winners who have traveled the globe broadening their knowledge, sparking their creativity and opening their hearts to unlimited design possibilities. Jon's contributions to the profession were celebrated most notably in 2010 when he was bestowed the Award of Honor by the Boston Society of Architects.
Jon was especially loved by three generations of nieces and nephews.
There will be a memorial service for Jon at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont St., Boston, on June 29 at 11.
Published in Times Argus on June 20, 2013