CENTRALIA — James “Jim” W. McKee, 93, of Centralia, passed away Sunday, January 17, 2021, at the Cedarhurst of Bethalto.
He was born April 12, 1927, in Centralia, the son of Charles McKee and Carrie (Webster) McKee. He married Gwyneth “Gwen” Olwen Williams on August 20, 1970, and she preceded him in death on August 25, 2019.
Jim is survived by his two children: Kimberly Anne Baugh and husband Russ of Edwardsville and Scott Kenneth Poland and wife Cindy of Knoxville, Tennessee; a daughter-in-law: Ada Poland of Fayetteville, Arkansas; 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Charles and Carrie McKee, wife: Gwyneth “Gwen” McKee, two sons: Mark Alan James McKee and John Richard Poland, two sisters: Mary Elizabeth Cox and Joan Bozett; A brother in law John Bozett.
Jim served in the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II.
Jim graduated from Centralia High School. He attended SIU Carbondale, Knox College, Aberlin College, and University of North Carolina. He graduated from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee and the University of Illinois with Masters in Mathematics. Jim was the Tennis coach and assistant Football coach at Harrisburg, Centralia High School, Florida State University and at Kaskaskia College for 22 years teaching and coaching, followed by 12 years in admin after retiring. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at KC and the James McKee Scholarship at Kaskaskia College was started in his honor.
Jim was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Centralia, where he served as an Elder, former Trustee, and former Sunday School Teacher. He was also a member of the Red Cross Board, CCBA Board, and the Centralia City Board of Appeals.
Jim moved to Edwardsville in 2018 to live closer to his daughter, Kim. He made many new friends and was beloved by all who met him. Jim loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Jim always had a warm smile to give and a sweet spirit to share.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 10, 2021, at the First Presbyterian Church in Centralia with Pastor Joannie Naraghi officiating. Burial to follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Centralia. Military Honors will be accorded at the gravesite by the Centralia American Legion Post 446 and the Centralia V.F.W. Post 2055.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service Saturday morning at the church. Due to the health guidelines, everyone in attendance will be required to wear a mask and social distance.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the James McKee Scholarship Fund at Kaskaskia College and/or Marion Medical Mission and will be accepted at the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home and Cremation Services at 235 North Sycamore Street Centralia, Illinois 62801, 618-532-3523, who is honored to be of service to the McKee family.
Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting sutherlandfuneralhome.com.