Rex McNees

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  • "I miss hearing him say "Hey Kel!" He was the best Dad I..."
    - Kelli McNees Hepworth
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Rex McNees
April 29, 1922 - May 30, 2015
Rex, 93, took his last flight before dawn Saturday morning, May 30th, from Anacortes, across from home base on Lopez Island. With him to prepare for the departure were his wife of 43 years, Lois, and daughters, Kitty, Kelli, Shelly, and granddaughter, Hannah. Flying was in his veins like aviation fuel. At an early age he meticulously built model airplanes, and he gallantly served in the Navy as an Aviation Machinist Mate, serving on the USS Salt Lake City cruiser. His cruiser arrived one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but he served in the South Pacific for 4 years. Rex truly was of "The Greatest Generation!" He owned the Idaho Air Service at Gowen Field, where hard, honest work (and Irish stubbornness) made it one of the best aviation repair facilities in the West.
Son of an early Parma family, father Ben McNees worked the land, but the untimely death of Rex's mother, Florence, left him the youngest of seven to be raised by his oldest sister, Hazel Barney (Wayne), and siblings, Esther Hervey (Elvin), Alpha Anders (Kyle), Ray McNees (Irene), Faye Johnston (Bill), and Helen Kayler (Marion) all deceased except Irene.
His favorite pastimes, besides working, were camping out in the mountains at Yellow Pine and boating at Lucky Peak with his many friends and family: wife, Maxine; daughters, Kitty Slagle (Rick), Beth Bissell (Bob), Kelli McNees, Shelly Conlon; and son, John McNees (Allyn), whose untimely death left an empty space in our hearts along with the passing of Stephanie, Rick, and young Rex. With wife Lois, Rex leaves a combined family of 8 children, 14 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Nieces and nephews include Janet Conley (Jerry), Susan Daley (Bill), Janie Cain (Dan), Bonnie Floyd, Marilyn Grow, Edward Barney (Julie), Mike Barney (Monte), Sandy Palmer (Rodney), Kenny McNees (Mary Kay), Sharon Hervey Dewitt (Gary), and Chuck Hervey (Kay) and all their children who shared the McNees heritage and sense of humor.
Rex left us with this McNeesism: Big noses are good - you might as well suck up all the air you can, because it's free!
In remembrance, ashes will be spread at Rex's favorite places.

Published in Idaho Press Tribune on July 12, 2015
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