NORMAN — Michael Raymond McKee, 70, a long time attorney of Norman, died at his home Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Mr. McKee was born May 1, 1942, in Little Rock, Ark., to Col. Raymond and Lorena Steincke McKee.
A memorial celebration will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Baptist Church of Norman.
During his childhood, due to his father's military service, Michael had the privilege of living in Leavenworth, Kan., San Diego,, Hawaii, Japan (during its US occupation), Bethlehem, Pa. and Okinawa, where he began high school at Kubasaki High. While in Okinawa, Michael traveled back to Japan for the unique experience of climbing to the top of Mt. Fuji.
High school and graduation was completed at Harding High School in Oklahoma City. In 1964, Michael graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Contemporary European History and a minor in German. His first job was with Social Security working with Navajo Indians and their documents in Farmington, N.M.
Michael interrupted his work with Social Security to teach English as a Peace Corps Volunteer on Truk Island in Micronesia. Upon his return to the States, he again worked for Social Security, but in Clinton, before entering the University of Oklahoma School of Law. He received his Juris Doctor in 1971.
Michael served the City of Norman for several years as Assistant City Attorney and as Police Legal Advisor, helping to write Norman's Municipal Code during that time. He founded McKee Law Firm in 1975 and maintained that private practice until medical complications forced his retirement in 2011. A special pleasure throughout his thirty-five years working as an attorney was mentoring new attorneys beginning their careers in his office. Michael thoroughly enjoyed helping others accomplish their goals.
Another venue of helping others came through his passion for languages (he was fluent in German, spoke Spanish, and studied Hebrew). Many international students and foreigners moving to the United States have benefited from his voluntary English tutoring and hospitality in his home. A number of years ago Michael began tutoring English for visiting Chinese scholars and professors attending the Chinese Fellowship at Trinity Baptist Church.
The underlying foundation in Michael's life was his belief in and following of Jesus Christ. He was an elder in Norman Covenant Fellowship, followed by participation in the Covenant Fellowship in Oklahoma City, and finally a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Norman. It was his heart's desire that all people come to know the love of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit; he lived his life to bear witness to that desire.
In June, 1982, Michael married Mary Jonette Fitzgerald, of the home, who survives him along with daughter, Stacey Kierstan and her husband Jay Barbre of Richmond, Ind.; sons, Kurt McKee of Norman, Frederick McKee of Denton, Texas, and 1st Lt. Stephan McKee of Manhattan, Kan; brother, Stephen McKee and his wife Jeanne of Anchorage, Alaska; sister, Karen Garrett of Bentonville, Ark.; two grandchildren, Kaydra and Daniel Barbre; nephews, Stephen McKee and wife Jennifer of Silverdale, Wash., Matthew McKee and wife Deborah of San Antonio, Texas, Dr. John McKee and wife Wendy of Kansas City, Kan., Patrick Garrett of McKinney, Texas, and Lt. Col. Gregory Garrett of Lawton; a niece, Amy Fielder and husband Kevin of Bentonville, Ark.; a dear cousin, Marie Reece and her son, Dr. Tommy Reece of Tipton; and a host of dear friends.
To make a donation in his honor, checks should be made to Trinity Baptist Church with "Chinese Fellowship" in the memo.
Visitation with the family in their home at 2727 Aspen Circle in Norman is possible on Monday, from 2 to 8 p.m.